After rupturing his kidney in 2006, Mark Stankey experienced random bouts of pain. He persisted for four years to find the source of his pain. After he changed doctors in 2010, Mark was diagnosed with Wilms Kidney Cancer—a type rarely found in adults. While he went through treatment, Mark and his wife Lindy started his CaringBridge site.
Mark knows the power in connecting to a community of support
Mark relied on the CaringBridge iPhone app to stay connected during his treatment. Reading messages from his family and friends on his phone kept Mark’s spirits high. He could access messages when he couldn’t sleep, while getting treatments or during the many times he simply needed to connect.
“It was wonderful for me to be able to bring up CaringBridge on my iPhone. There are times at night when it’s really lonely and support would come through my phone,” says Mark.
“The ability to use our phones to see updated comments and the rising number of visits was such a blessing,” says Mark’s wife Lindy. “We had encouraging words with us everywhere we went! On big event days, those comments gave both of us strength and made the journey more manageable.”
how CaringBridge simplified an emotional time
Mark and Lindy also needed a quick way to connect with their large support network—family and friends in 15 states and Germany. CaringBridge made communication across geographical and emotional distances simpler and easier. It offered Lindy a perfect way to connect with everyone at once, while keeping her from being inundated with phone calls and e-mails asking for updates. CaringBridge was a place where everyone could encourage and support Mark.
Mark says, "Today I win."
Mark summarized his journey for his support community on his CaringBridge site like this:
"Today I win. Today at four o'clock I am done. Thank you all for supporting me through this—especially my amazing wife. My name is Mark Stankey. I am 33 years old and I am a stage three Wilms' cancer survivor N.E.D. (no evidence of disease)."
Lindy adds, “We were just talking about how this experience has changed us. We are more compassionate and caring for others. Using CaringBridge gave us more than connections with family and friends. It created awareness that we were surrounded by opportunities to love and care for others going through crisis—no matter how big or small.”