At a 2017 event featuring the work of the How We Heal project, CaringBridge author and brain cancer patient Michael Bischoff, and his wife, Jenny Larson, re-create a moment captured by National Geographic photographer David McLain.
While I wish we had not met in relation to a brain cancer diagnosis, I am so grateful for how CaringBridge has connected our team with Michael Bischoff and his wife, Jenny Larson. Magical things like this happen so often—bringing people together is the essence of CaringBridge.
Michael, of Minneapolis, started a site the day he found out he had a brain tumor. He is now four years into living with glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer with an average survival rate of 18 months.
Healing is Always Possible
And while he hopes for health enough to launch his son and daughter safely into the grownup world—the covenant of parenthood—Michael’s focus is on healing vs. curing. He believes the value of healing is in being able to move ahead, regardless of outcome, with what remains. Here is one of my favorite quotes from his CaringBridge Journal: “Even if I die tomorrow, I still want to celebrate miraculous healing today.” (By the way, Michael is an amazing writer.)
Since his story was first featured in How We Heal, an ongoing CaringBridge project that distills and shares the wisdom of healing from CaringBridge users across the country, Michael has been helping others tell their stories. This has included patients, family caregivers, and even his own oncologist.
Being Open to Receive Love and Support
In Michael’s view, storytelling can shift the focus from fear and anxiety to being open to receiving love and support. As someone who uses CaringBridge, you might see this, too.
As you make possible everything that happens at CaringBridge, I thank you for creating a safe place for stories to be told. And for healing to happen. Your support of the stories and science that have become How We Heal will offer hope and inspiration for years to come.
I also thank you for bringing Michael into our lives. What an amazing gift.
Liwanag Ojala is CEO of CaringBridge.
New to CaringBridge and Wondering What We Do?
CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health crisis through the use of free, personal websites. Know someone who could benefit from starting a CaringBridge site to keep loved ones informed and get the love, and support they need?