Eagan, Minn. (November 1, 2017) – For the more than 40 million Americans caring for a sick loved one, there is a healing power in sharing their experiences with others going through similar challenges. Today, CaringBridge – where hundreds of thousands of people going through health journeys tell their stories – is launching a national conversation to celebrate the selfless commitment of these caregivers.
As part of its “How We Heal” initiative, CaringBridge has commissioned a short film called “Caregivers Up Close” by renowned National Geographic photographer and documentary filmmaker David McLain. The film explores the individual stories of 20 families – representing the thousands of families who have used CaringBridge over the years ¬– and reflects on how their commitment to caring transformed their lives.
“Mother Teresa once said that it’s not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing,” CaringBridge CEO Liwanag Ojala said. “For all of the families we interviewed, love and devotion were always at the forefront of the discussion, even as grief and obligation challenged their resolve on every step of the journey. That’s the message we want to convey: despite the ups and downs of caregiving, it’s truly a labor of love.”
November is National Family Caregiver Month, celebrating the millions of Americans who deliver an estimated $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones, a number that will only rise as subsequent generations attend to the needs of aging baby boomers. In their time of need, as one interview subject asks, who will care of the caregivers?
“The one thing that everyone needs is someone or a group of people to not forget about you,” Molly Sturgis continues in the film. “Send those text messages and make those phone calls, even if the person who’s going through something is not responding.”
“How We Heal” has the power to be a beacon of support for those navigating difficult health journeys by encouraging everyone to share their own experiences via the CaringBridge website and social media channels. Just as CaringBridge created a community of support 20 years ago, the organization hopes that this new initiative will help other families and caregivers find inspiration, hope and healing.
To view the Caregiver Up Close video, click here.
CaringBridge is a global nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey through the use of free personal websites. Their mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. Nearly 90 percent of all funding comes from individual donors. Since its founding in 1997 by Sona Mehring, more than 675,000 CaringBridge websites have been created. Combined, they have received 2.1 billion visits. For more information, visit caringbridge.org.