Young Couple Struck by Tragedy Finds Healing in Journaling

CaringBridge Founder and Generous Donor Make Match Gifts during June Campaign

Eagan, Minn., (June 9, 2015) — Together for more than five years, Ashley and Ben were on the verge of life’s biggest moments—engagement ring shopping, house hunting—when they were struck by tragedy. It was a sunny fall day when Ashley got the call from Ben’s mom. An oncoming car had crashed into Ben’s Jeep on his way to work. That first night, as Ben lay in a coma, Ashley turned to CaringBridge to connect with family and friends.

What began as a way to update everyone quickly became something more profound. “That first morning I woke to a beautiful sunrise. I wanted to go shake Ben and tell him to look,” said Ashley. “But then it hit me…Ben was not getting better anytime soon and would miss out on everything. So I started journaling for Ben.”

Ben survived this near-fatal accident, but spent time in a coma and suffered a traumatic brain injury from the wreck. Ashley took on a caregiver role and ran his CaringBridge website, which swelled to have thousands of views and comments of support. “I was isolated,” said Ashley. “I don’t think people realized how much it meant to have people commenting to me. It made me feel not as alone.” There are hundreds of thousands people, like Ashley and Ben, who depend on CaringBridge to rally their community for a source of strength and hope.

Today, CaringBridge launches Hope. Healing. You., a two-week giving campaign featuring Ashley and Ben’s story. From June 9 through June 23, CaringBridge asks supporters to join them with a financial gift, honoring the hope and healing that occurs during a CaringBridge health journey. “CaringBridge has helped me cope. It has made me laugh and cry. It has truly been a therapy for me, and it has helped put me on the road to personal healing,” said Ashley.

The campaign features two generous matching gifts. The first match, donated by an anonymous friend of CaringBridge, doubles donations received on June 9 and 10 up to $10,000. The second match comes from CaringBridge founder and CEO Sona Mehring and runs through the whole campaign. “If you sign up to be a monthly donor by June 23, I will personally match your donations for the first twelve months, up to $10,000,” said Sona. “That’s how important this cause is to me.”

Nearly 90 percent of all funding comes from the people who use CaringBridge. A donation helps ensure that personal websites are available for every family facing a health crisis. Donors can have a powerful impact – making health journeys easier for people like Ashley and Ben. To learn more about making a tax-deductible one-time contribution or to join Sona's CEO challenge to become a monthly donor, visit

About CaringBridge
CaringBridge is a nonprofit organization created so people experiencing a health journey can rally their community during a time of need through the use of personal websites. Our mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. Founded in 1997 by Sona Mehring, CaringBridge is cost-free and ad-free due to the generosity of donors. More than half a million CaringBridge websites have been created. Combined, they’ve received nearly two billion visits. For more information, visit