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CaringBridge is a unique online resource that provides an opportunity for families in crisis (usually medical) to create a free, private web site to keep family and friends updated about the patient's condition, while offering family and friends the opportunity to post words of encouragement and support throughout the ordeal. It has proven to be a valuable resource for many families. The following information was taken from the CaringBridge web site.

CaringBridge History
In 1997, founder Sona Mehring’s close friend suffered a life-threatening pregnancy. To keep family and friends informed about the critical situation, Sona created a website.The site allowed family members to communicate information to a wide circle of people without disturbing the mother’s need for rest or placing additional demands on hospital staff.

Fighting for their lives
Baby Brighid was born almost three months premature. With her mother in critical condition, the one-pound preemie was quickly rushed to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. The family posted daily news about mom and Brighid on the website. An accompanying online guestbook enabled visitors to send the family messages of love and encouragement.

Sadly, Brighid’s story does not have a happy ending. After a nine-day struggle against tremendous odds, she died in surgery.

An outpouring of love
The website allowed the family to convey this saddest of news without the painful burden of several emotional phone calls. The parents also had a place to post a final message to honor Brighid and their supportive online community.

Brighid’s death prompted an outpouring of loving messages to the family. They immediately understood that other patients dealing with the birth of a premature baby, childhood cancer or other critical illness would benefit from the same web resource.

A memorial fund, created in Brighid’s memory, enabled Children’s Hospital in St. Paul to dedicate a computer and Internet access for patients and families wishing to create their own online communities.

And CaringBridge was born.

A CaringBridge website helps keep loved ones informed during a significant health challenge.
  • Reduces time and emotional energy spent on repeated phone calls and e–mail
  • Keeps everyone informed with the same, accurate information
  • Connects a patient’s entire community, creating a network of support for everyone involved
  • Family and friends can post messages of love, hope and compassion from around the world
Every free, personal and private CaringBridge website includes:
  • Patient care journal to update family and friends
  • Guestbook for messages of love and support
  • Photo gallery
  • Free online support for using the service
You can create a web site for yourself or someone you love.
It’s a meaningful way to help family and friends during life-changing events such as:
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chronic illness
  • Hospice care
  • Hospitalization
  • International adoption
  • Military deployment
  • Organ transplant
  • Premature birth
  • Recovery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • War injury
Your site provides a private space for the personal, sensitive conversations that take place during significant health challenges. CaringBridge was created for personal health sharing and is more appropriate than social networks that are more open, broadly focused or intended for socializing and entertainment. We understand how important these personal conversations are and will not allow them to be interrupted by commercial advertising or distracting banner ads.

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