Give and You will Receive
For many years, Bill Lindberg has dedicated himself to serving others - professionally coaching them in navigating life's transitions, renewing their passions and achieving new goals. He has faithfully supported others during times of difficulty, stress and uncertainty. But in October 2009, Bill was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma after doctors found a large tumor in one of his lymph nodes and one of his adrenal glands. He would soon find that the support he so generously gave others would travel full circle to meet his need when health mattered most.
Making Communication Easier
In November of that same year, Bill underwent surgery to remove the tumors. The day before his surgery, he decided to create a CaringBridge website to keep others updated on his progress after a friend who had previously used CaringBridge suggested he check it out. "It was so valuable to me to be able to tell my story," says Bill.
Given his extended role as a Rotarian, Bill had many people he wanted to keep informed about his health. Many fellow Rotary Club members visited his site after finding out about it through the Club's Christmas newsletter.
Bill says his favorite part about his CaringBridge website is the "ability to stay in touch and ability to not tell the story in an exhausting way."
Enveloped in Support
Throughout his health journey, Bill found a community of support through a variety of avenues: his church, Rotary Club, family and friends. Adopting an idea from a friend, he decided to form a Wellness Committee, a personal support group made up of nine people from various locations, life experiences and backgrounds. At the outset, the group existed primarily for Bill, but as it continued to develop, each member received encouragement. "In a sense, it is partially evolving as a Mastermind Group confronting the issues of aging and mortality," Bill says.
Bill's Wellness Committee and CaringBridge worked hand-in-hand, allowing him to get the most benefit from each.
"Members of the Wellness Committee have been following my progress on CaringBridge very diligently...which helps maximize the value of our time together on conference calls," Bill says. "My point of view is that CaringBridge and the Wellness Committee support each other's function and they both support me."
About three months after his surgery, Bill received the good news that his diagnosis now had N.E.D (No Evidence of Disease) tagged onto the end of it.
While continuing to go in for scans every three months, Bill has maintained contact with his supporters through CaringBridge. He has even printed each of the messages that others have written in his guestbook. "The collective warmth and support that comes has been phenomenally meaningful," says Bill, amazed at the array of people from all over the world who take the time to sign his guestbook.
Bill received a great deal from the support he found through CaringBridge and has graciously given back to CaringBridge as a four-time donor. "I knew how valuable the CaringBridge site has been for me and that realization increased with each subsequent donation," says Bill. "I fully appreciated that the uplifting energy I was receiving from my CaringBridge site was at least as valuable to my immune system as any medication I would have taken ... Besides, if I want this service to thrive and be available for me and others, I'd better support it."