The First CaringBridge Website
Twenty years ago this June 7, our founder, Sona Mehring, coded a website in her home office that changed the way the world communicates during a health crisis.
She had been asked by dear friends in the midst of a life-threatening pregnancy “to let everyone know what was going on.” After a few emotionally exhausting phone calls, Sona, a software engineer, knew there had to be a better way.
Sona launched a website to rally support around her friends on the day their daughter, Brighid, was born premature.
While Baby Brighid lived only 9 days, her website sparked a movement that has grown into more than 675,000 CaringBridge websites that have had 2.1 billion visits since the day Baby Brighid’s website was created.
You Are CaringBridge
While 675,000 stories might be difficult to comprehend, the real number is “one,” because it represents YOU. CaringBridge is the sum of each caregiver, each patient, each family member, each individual person, and we want to hear from YOU.
As CaringBridge begins its third decade of making health journeys easier, we invite you to share your story. Tell us why you needed a CaringBridge site. What kinds of things did your family and friends do to lift you up when you needed it most? How have you found healing … even if a cure has not been part of your outcome?
You may have used CaringBridge, at first, to streamline communication but maybe sharing your story helped you make sense of things, at a time when very little made sense.
We hear this so often: “I did not start a website with the intention of healing. But that is what happened.” Tell us what kept you going. Was it journaling? The kids? Gardening? Prayer? Walks along the water? There is no right or wrong answer. It’s your story. It’s unique.
Your stories are what bring hope to others who may be going through the same thing. If you were the patient writing about your journey on CaringBridge or one of many family members or close friends keeping people connected to the patient, this invitation comes directly to you.
Whether you were among the first CaringBridge users, back when Sona was personally coding websites in her home, or you started your website five minutes ago, we would love to hear from you.
Or if this makes you think about a family member or friend whose story you followed, and you think they might be interested in sharing their story with us, please send them this article. We want to hear from as many people as possible.
How to Share Your Story
Share your story with us by filling out our Share Your Story Form. In honor of our 20th year, we plan to feature a number of stories on CaringBridge.org from among those that are submitted to us through April 30, 2017.
May you forever benefit from the love, hope and compassion that comes from being connected to your family and friends when it matters most.