Honoring the Story That Started it All, in 1997

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CaringBridge believes that we are all stronger together.

June 7, 1997, was the day Baby Brighid was born.

And with her birth came the birth of the first CaringBridge website. I created it so that my dear friends could tell their story and get support when she really needed it. The response it got, both from Brighid’s parents and Brighid’s followers—flipped a switch in my brain: Other people needed it, too.

“It was like they were in the room with me, and going through the whole deal with me instead of going through it myself.”

That was in 1997.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of authors have told their stories to billions of visitors. That’s because of you. You’ve shown up when your friends, families and far-flung acquaintances have needed it most. And you’ve supported CaringBridge financially, so that we can continue to provide safe, ad-free spaces for our families to tell their stories, and to get the support they need, exactly when they need it.

Televising the CaringBridge Tale

We were thrilled when the Twin Cities Fox affiliate, Fox9, wanted to help us commemorate our 19th year, in 2016, by helping tell the story that started it all. Please watch it here:

Many thanks to Twin Cities Fox affiliate for their compassionate storytelling of our simple, but powerful beginnings with Baby Brighid.

What We Can All Do

This video is why we do what we do.

We want to be the place where everyone can share their story and get support from their loved ones. Where the isolation of a health journey is mitigated by beaming immediate messages of love through a computer screen right to the room where the author is reading. CaringBridge becomes a site for a story, but also a site of hope and kindness.

Thanks for being with us every step of the way. To help secure another 19 years of acts of love, dive into “Hope on a Hard Drive” from the Twin Cities Fox affiliate and consider joining us and making a difference.

Comments (23)

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Barbara M Waters Sep 23, 2016 12:18pm
Thank you for sharing how you started CaringBridge, Sona Mehring. I have used it during the past few years to follow what was happening as friends experienced health crises with family , a parent or a spouse. I wished I knew of its existence when a family member was experiencing a crisis 4 1/2 years ago, but only learned of it after my friends included in their updates. You are truly an angel in human form for founding this site.
Smithf167 Sep 22, 2016 5:24am
We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. ccbaecgdaddeeccb
Smithk402 Sep 21, 2016 1:15am
The finest sites and blogs and forums centered on literature and learning? daggabadcdcfacea
heather Jun 25, 2016 1:32pm
grateful a friend started a caring bridge page for me with the (initial) cancer diagnosis in 2011. it allowed me to share without unnecessary repetition, vent, heal, and educate. continued to post as needed over the years. then there was the Mets cancer diagnosis in July 2015. fortunate to still have an active caring bridge site to share this JOurneY.
Mike Potvin Jun 24, 2016 4:08am
Your website is indeed a blessing you helped our family get through a very difficult times with our son when he was diagnosed with a rare tumor inside his spinal cord when he was five. Your site provided us with tremendous support and allowed us to communicate with those who cared and were seeking updates. We were recently blessed by watching our son graduate high school. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!
joyce cropper Jun 23, 2016 5:55pm
That was such a beautiful story. Sona is such a wonderful person to have started this in 1997.
Cynthia Horton Jun 23, 2016 9:24am
I am overwhelmed by this video of this great beginning for CaringBridge. May this mission never cease to show the awesome of God in the hearts of people who care. A bridge over to the other side leads us to victory in life or death. I have tears of joy this day! To God be the glory.
Bill Dean (imo) In memory of my soul mate, my wife. Diane Lynn Erickson Dean Jun 23, 2016 4:17am
PSALM 68.19.niv "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens" SONA MEHRING, you are truly a blessing to all who have the opportunity to share with loved ones through the efforts of Caring Bridge!!! We just learned of your website this past year. One of the most difficult things people have to do is answer the non-stop questions that keep on coming?? How are you doing? How is your loved one (name) ?? Please keep me updated!!! The trauma,STRESS, and pressure of the immediate family to have to answer all of the questions, that must be answered are totally resolved through CaringBridge... Our friend MEL CHRISTENSON, is registered on CaringBridge. His loving wife ARDITH, & the entire family can concentrate on being constant caregivers, & prayer warriors!! Without having to bother others, all we have to do is Log In to CaringBridge and your staff of CaringBridge (ANGELS) become 24/7 conduits to all of us that want access to their loved ones.. GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY SOUL WHOSE PRAYERS & MESSAGE REACH MEL, ARDITH, AND THEIR FAMILY...
Joep C de Jong Jun 23, 2016 2:07am
Beautiful video, thanks for sharing and please keep up the good work!
Rev. Robert Waihenya Jun 23, 2016 1:29am
Very touching and inspiring. Its a vision which deserves all our support. I pray that it reaches out to Africa.
Liz green Jun 22, 2016 11:31pm
One person truly can make a difference, when we have dought or feel like a small donation wouldn't make a change. That donation does not have to be large in money, it can be a kind word or a hug. Friends of ours and strangers who may have no one need a boost. That's how we all can overcome and truly heal. No matter the outcome. Strength in numbers.
Patricia Shamblin (Nana Jun 22, 2016 10:07pm
I had never heard of Caring Bridge till I saw on Facebook something about Jessie Clair. I went on the website and have kept up with her. Her mom Robin has kept us up to date. I haven't seen any thing in quiet a while.I sure hope things are going OK for them. When I get paid I'm going to send something in honor of Jessie Clair. Thank you and God bless you for all you do.I had breast cancer but in remission for 16 years. I also have severe RA and Ostio,so sort of know what they are going through. Again thank you and all the people who makes up CaringBridge.
Adella B. Latus Jun 22, 2016 8:58pm
CONGRATULATIONS on celebrating 19 years of CARING--and BRIDGING the gaps in the lives of so many families! My cousin, Audrey Nolan, and her immediate family were uplifted by the ability of her son, Vin, to keep in IMMEDIATE contact with his mother's family and friends--even in England--when support was needed the most. Audrey did not survive, but I shall never forget how grateful I was to follow her fight for survival. THANK YOU, CaringBridge, for being the conduit for EVERYONE who shares your vision for a CONNECTED future!
Marlene Jackson Jun 22, 2016 8:45pm
Caring Bridge is a very good thing. Thanks for creating it.
Wendy Desplanque Jun 22, 2016 8:15pm
There are no words. Thank you. The difference you make comes from Heaven.
Thomas Morofski Jun 22, 2016 8:03pm
This site was truly a blessing from our Lord when tragedy struck our family on April 17, 2014. My son Matt and his wife Johanna were crushed beyond comprehension with the news that their 14 yr. old daughter Dana had been killed instantly in a car crash and their 19 yr. old son Erik was in hyper critical condition. A family friend, I believe, suggested CaringBridge as a way to spare Matt and Johanna a measure of grief while allowing the family and close friends the opportunity to be kept up to date on Erik's condition and be informed of visitation and funeral arrangements for our dear Dana. Eventually as time passed, Johanna was able to assume responsibility for the daily updates of Erik's miraculous recovery and healing. This allow her to communicate with far more people than if she were to attempt to communicate with them individually. The hundreds of good people who offered their thoughts and prayers were beyond priceless to the entire family. May God continue to bless CaringBridge and all who work so hard to make it available at such critical times for so many families.
Geoffrey Eisenmann Jun 22, 2016 7:56pm
Compassion, kindness and sensitivity exhibited here and other CaringBridge stories that I have read.and been able to relate to..
Ann Barcus Jun 22, 2016 9:13am
It was a personal avenue to family members as we shared a time in our family as one was suffering medically, spiritually, and very difficult time in their lives. it is an avenue to help those who use the site to give and receive support. Thank you again for the opportunity to use the site to reach our love one and give our love and support at their difficult time.
Margaret Hodge. Jun 21, 2016 9:38pm
In 2007, our family had enrolled two members of our family. My husband, Charles Hodge was enrolled at CaringBridge after being diagnosed with ALS. Jjust less than two weeks, our grandson, Elijah Smith of Tuls, OK was enrolled having been diagnosed with a cute lymphoma. There is no way to adequately express how Carongbridge assisted us in hearing from fiends, and reporting our story. Within a year, Elijah was totaling improved and on a maintenance chemo program. Unfortunately, my husband lost his battle with ALS., and graduated into heaven on August 22, 2009. That same day, our grandson, Matthew Hodge sustained massive brain damage as a result of a terrible car/freight train wreck. For the past six years and 10 months claringbidge has been our advocate. People by the 1,000's have followed Mathews progress. He is still enrolled, and people still keep in touch with his dad, Tim Hodge, who regularly updated the story, Their appreciation for all who truly care. Caringbridge never gives up. Our family share the story of Caringbridge...a miraculous organization.
Amber Jun 21, 2016 9:03pm
Thank you for all your work, I have cp and been thought a lot caringBridge has gave me a salt place to just write what is going on with my Daly life without worrying about other people judgement ' thanks
Lisha Thomas berry Jun 21, 2016 7:50pm
So touching is all I can say I look at my daughter and say lord do ur will heal her body. It's been an emotional rollercoaster for me and my family especially me if you have never experienced a child being sick with cancer or the fact of losing a child r loved one. Thank you for creating this. Thank you for being that blessing.
Terri Fidance Jun 14, 2016 8:59am
I truly believe this website is a blessing both for the family dealing with the sickness but also for the caring friends and family that so desperately want to know how the patient is progressing instead of bombarding the parents with phone calls, texts, emails, etc., it's hard for the parents to constantly repeat the answers to the same questions with each person that visits or calls for updates. Unfortunately, you don't realize how many people care about you, your child, and your situation until something terrible like this happens and people from all over want to show their support. As parents, you're thankful for the support and feel an obligation to answer questions and give regular updates but it becomes extremely difficulty trying to do that at the same time dealing with a sick child... this site allows the parents to give one daily, weekly or how ever many updates they want and everyone can get the same news, doing away with the constant multiple questions. I'm glad I donated to your site, but I have one thought, thankfully when a child overcomes, or 'beats' their illness, or even sadly if a child succomes and loses the battle, their should be a way to leave the page open to continue to give details of new accomplishments and goals and reaching those goals.. I feel it should continue for a few years after recovery, and in cases where the child does not get through the battle, it would be nice for the family to go to and see how others send them support and encouragement even through the anniversary of the child's passing. Sometimes, words really help get through things. It's just a suggestion. Thank you for creating this site, I am very appreciative to be able to hear the latest news as it comes in.
    Michelle Van Engen Jun 15, 2016 11:07am
    Terri, Thank you so much for your kind comment, and for being one of our loyal donors. You put into words exactly why we're here, and the difference our service makes during a difficult time. Our websites are available for as long as families would like to keep them. Many families have used our service for years to mark milestones and anniversaries, sometimes long after the health event is past. Thanks again, Michelle, CaringBridge