You, MedGift, Netflix and the New York Times – WOW!

Netflix and the New York Times are currently filming a documentary series about people with undiagnosed medical conditions.  The series is inspired by Dr. Lisa Sanders’ Diagnosis’ column in the New York Times and will air on Netflix in 2019. The series producers are looking for new cases to follow and are particularly interested in patients who come from minority communities and/or parts of the country that aren’t often seen on television. They have asked us to reach out to YOU, our MedGift extended family.

If you are undiagnosed or have a personal medical mystery you’d like to share, please email the producers at diagnosissubmissions@gmail.com.   All information will be treated in confidence and be subject to HIPAA guidelines.

Please don’t submit medical emergencies or conditions that require an immediate response. The goal here is to share individual stories with “the crowd”, to follow your journey as you seek a diagnosis and to potentially make appropriate information available to you. If you are under 18, please have your parent or guardian communicate the request.

Here are the first four cases:

PATIENT #1:  ANGEL:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/04/11/magazine/netflix-diagnosis-series-angels-severe-muscle-pain.html

PATIENT #2:  MATT:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/04/magazine/netflix-diagnosis-series-matts-fainting-spells.html

PATIENT #3 – WILLIE:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/21/magazine/netflix-diagnosis-series-willie-seizures.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

PATIENT #4 – LASHAY

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/20/magazine/netflix-diagnosis-series-lashay.html

Reducing Medication Costs

Are the high cost of medications impacting your household?  According to Consumer reports approximately 30% of those surveyed responded medication costs are resulting in lifestyle changes.  The May issue of Consumer Reports has a special report on how to reduce your medication costs. Tips mentioned in this article include:

  1. Always ask about the availability of a generic equivalent.
  2. If like most you have been using the same pharmacy for years, shop around for lower prices, do not assume your pharmacy offers the lowest prices.
  3. Do not be afraid to use reputable on-line, web-based pharmacies.
  4. Check on-line, at your pharmacy and your physician’s office for coupons.
  5. Always ask your pharmacist for the price of a prescription and then ask if this is the lowest price available?
  6. Consider a ninety-day prescription.

Check out this excellent article from Consumer Reports for more tips on reducing your medication costs.

 

How one MedGift family is coping with high medical expenses

Hit hard by medical expenses?  Checkout this touching article from Today’s Parent on the skyrocketing cost of care and how one of our MedGift families is managing through this national dilemma.

https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/kids-health/how-to-crowdfund-your-kids-medical-expenses/

Top 11 Things Not to Say to a Grieving Friend

Most people say the loss of a loved one is their number one fear.  downloadHere are the top 11 things NOT TO SAY when talking to someone experiencing grief due to the loss of a loved one:

1. I know how you feel …
2. Time heals all wounds …
3. Let go … move on
4. Have faith …
5. Everything happens for a reason …images (1)
6. At least …
7. Be thankful …
8. They are in a better place …
9. At least you have XYZ. Count your blessings …
10. You are still young. You can have more children …
11. I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t imagine …

Following are the top 8 things you might consider saying:

1. I love you …
2. I remember the time …
3. I gave to their memorial fund …
4. Do you want to talk …
5. I can do this task …
6. I have no words …
7. I am so sorry for your loss …
8. I am here for you if I can help you in anyway

Sources:

http://www.upworthy.com/5-things-i-didnt-want-to-hear-when-i-was-grieving-and-1-thing-that-helped?c=ufb6

http://stillstandingmag.com/2014/01/6-things-never-say-bereaved-parent/

https://www.today.com/parents/child-loss-what-you-should-should-not-say-parents-t30596

Joan Lunden discusses MedGift on the Today Show

Check out Joan Lunden speaking on the Today Show about her journey with breast cancer.  At the 2:05 mark an audience member asks Joan how to help a friend or loved one when they are diagnosed with cancer?  Joan’s response:  Do not tell your friend to call you if they need anything.  Instead offer to setup a MedGift support page for them.  With a MedGift support page everyone will know exactly what they can do to help.  MedGift’s support pages include fundraising to cover expenses, calendars for coordinating care and wish lists for specific items. MedGift takes the awkwardness out of asking while connecting those in need with those who care.  And of course MedGift is 100% free.

Coordinating Care Using MedGift’s Support Calendar

Christie fchristie-calendarrom Bellingham, Washington and her support community are using MedGift’s unique support calendar to organize care for her as she battles cancer. Check out her story by clicking here www.medgift.com/caring-for-christie.

Big Tip On Successfully Using Crowdfunding to Cover Medical Expenses

Crowdfunding is an excellent way to assist in the payment of expenses arising from medical or health-related hardships.    No matter what web-based tool you use to for crowdfunding they all work essentially the same and deliver similar results.  This short post will give you a guaranteed way of increasing the funds you raise, so lets get started.

Regardless of the site you use the process is similar:

1. Choose your web site to use (more on this later)

2. Sign in and create your page (some sites call these campaigns, MedGift uses the term “support page”).

3. See the previous post on the MedGift Voice for best practices associated with actually setting up your page.  Once again these tips apply to all sites.

4. Share your page with your facebook friends, email contacts and or twitter followers; what we call your support community.  The success of your campaign is directly related to the size of your support community and how willing those in in your community are to share your story with their friends.  This is the secret to raising the money you need – more on this at the end of the article.

5. Update your page with frequent status reports to keep your community apprised of the status of you or the beneficiary of the page.

6. As visitors come to your page and donate their donations will flow into your checking account.

So how do you choose which crowdfunding site to use if they all offer similar capabilities?  First, consider MedGift, a 501(c)3 organization offering a completely free service that is run by a team of individuals with a passion for service to others.

Okay so whats the big tip? Enlist a friend to help and set up two pages on different sites.  Assume you are setting the page up for a son or daughter.  You will create your initial page on MedGift and share it with your support community.  Then your friend – – preferably one with a large number of facebook friends – will set up a second page for your son or daughter on a different site.  This person will share this page with their support community.  In this way you double the number of individuals  with awareness of your need which in turn will double the number of donations you receive (approximately of course).  Simple, easy and guaranteed to increase your fundraising success.  

Check out MedGift today and find out why we are refreshingly different.

Crowdfunding for Medical Expenses Best Practices

What do you do when you are faced with large medical bills?  Have you considered crowdfunding?  Here’s a great article from Bloomberg regarding the use of crowdfunding to pay medical bills.  Why does this make sense?  Well, when you are in need your family, friends and other loved ones want to help Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 5.10.03 PMbut other than flowers or cards they don’t know what to do.  So, consider creating a MedGift support page where you describe exactly what you need.  Share it with your support community and watch our generous they are.  If you haven’t heard of MedGift we are a not for profit,  completely free, refreshing alternative to other sites such as gofu##me.com.  Following are are some best practices for setting up and managing your MedGift support page.Crowdfunding Best Practices

1. Have a catchy MedGift page title. For example, which sounds better “Kickin it for Kelly” or “I need help” The first one, right? You probably have already done that when you started this page …but you can change it if you like…now or later.
2. We suggest you include a personal photo of the Beneficiary – this really warms the page and helps to establish a connection with your visitors.
3. We have really made it easy to connect and post to your social media outlets – email, FB and/or Twitter. You should share your new page as well as subsequent updates with as wide an audience as you feel comfortable. You can do this and more from your “DASHBOARD”. To access your dashboard, just log into you MedGift account, select your page, and you are off and running!4. Ask you community to also “Share”. What we have learned is that when a page and comments are shared, your community engagement increases by nearly 5X ( 500%), When sharing on FB or Twitter as the organizer, you become “verified” and that seems to make people much more comfortable engaging with your page.

5. Update your page frequently-– 1x /week at a minimum and share these updates with you social media connections as well. Your family and friends want to know how things are going, but often times don’t want to burden you by asking.
6. Add Photos or Videos. This will keep your page fresh, grab attention and invite compassion.
7. If you are looking to raise funds, the more specific you can be about how they will be used, the better. Also it’s best to start with a modest goal, but do not hesitate in asking for what you need and you can adjust up /down according to your needs. And don’t forget to enable your WePay account. This is where your donations will be stored. Whomever you designated as the Funds manager, yourself or the Beneficiary, will receive an email within 2 days how to do that!

8. If you are raising funds, it’s just like the tip jar, people often prefer to donate after someone else, and so we suggest making the first donation yourself. Our experience indicates this will jump start your efforts. And adjust your goals and timeframes as you are comfortable.

9. Use the Wish List to pictorially describe what you need or how you plan to use the funds

10. Please also explore the calendar. It’s a terrific tool to let your friends know if you would like help with meals, someone to visit or perhaps even walk the dog, transportation to an appointment, help with laundry or any other physical related activity. This has helped many other MedGift friends ease their burden.

Regards,

The MedGift Team

Think You’re Tough?

Think you are tough, think you are having a bad day?

▪︎There is a less than a 1% chance of getting Breast Cancer again after undergoing double mastectomies but cancer has shown no mercy to Tracy Baker and her kids.
▪︎Tracy tackled breast cancer in 2005 at the age of 34. She endured months of chemotherapy and her breasts were removed. One battle with cancer is tragedy enough for a family but this family is faced with a SECOND cancer.

Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer, TWICE! Check out her head shaving video that went viral at https://www.medgift.com/help-tracy-baker-fight-breast-cancer  Tracy is the definition of tough.

When You Are Diagnosed with Cancer

When you are diagnosed with cancer there’s plenty of help there, you just have to find it.  Check out the following Reuter’s blog post by Debra Sherman.

http://blogs.reuters.com/cancer-in-context/2013/09/19/got-cancer-theres-help-out-there-you-just-have-to-find-it/

Another great resource is the Dragon Master Foundation (DMF) which is a not for profit organization staffed by volunteers that maintains a list of resources for those diagnosed with cancer.  Check it out at  http://www.dragonmasterfoundation.org/resources.

MedGift recognizes the needs of those undergoing a medical or health related crisis are complex.  These needs may include emotional support from friends and loved ones, ability to keep everyone in your support community apprised of your progress, you may may need financial assistance for non-covered expenses, you may need specific items such as a wheel chair, hospital bed etc and/or you may need help with routine activities such as meals, house work, transportation etc.  MedGift support pages address each of these needs in a simple, fast and easy to use manner.   MedGift, the vision of Diem Brown, is a totally free, not for profit that is refreshingly different.  Check us out MedGift at www.medgift.com.