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My wife, who handles the prayer chain e-mail list for our church, just became aware of an online way for friends and family of someone who is undergoing a medical crisis to stay in touch and informed and to provide support and encouragement.

It's called CaringBridge, and it's a free service funded by a non-profit. In a few short steps, you can set up a website for a patient -- yourself or someone close to you. You can create journal entries and upload photographs. You can choose whether the site should be open to anyone who knows its name or whether visitors will also need a password. (User sites are blocked from search engine indexing, so someone can't google their way into it.) Visitors to the site can leave messages of support and encouragement on the guestbook, and they can sign up to receive an e-mail alert when new information is posted.

It's a bit like a blog or a MySpace page, but it's geared for the specific purpose of allowing a patient or the loved one of a patient to keep friends and family up to date without the hassle of managing e-mail lists. A single e-mail pointing people to the webpage is all it takes.

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Russ Author Profile Page said:

Mike - as I think you know, my mother passed away at the end of December. She'd been diagnosed early in the fall as only having a few months to live and my dad set up a CaringBridge site. It was an incredible blessing. Over a couple of months, there were more than 1700 visits to the sites by friends and family and 165 messages left for my mom and dad in the guestbook. For my dad, it was an easy way to keep everyone posted on the latest. For my mom, it was a blessing to receive the personal notes. For us kids, it was incredibly encouraging to see how our mother had touched so many people in special ways throughout her life. I strongly strongly strongly recommend it for others going through similar situations.


Russ, thanks for sharing your positive experience, and our condolences on the loss of your mother.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 13, 2008 6:45 PM.

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