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.

Wish Lists – A unique feature of MedGift

Wish Lists are one reason MedGift is different!

When your life’s journey includes a medical hardship you have many needs: emotional support, financial help, help with with routine tasks and sometimes you just needs things. Check out Tracy’s MedGift support page  We’re Tracy’s Tribe! and how it uses MedGift unique Wish List  feature to specifically identify what she needs in her time of need.  Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 9.00.17 PMThis removes the guess work for Tracy’s support community – they know exactly what Tracy needs.  These needs can be met with financial support or direct gifting of the items.  So skip the flows and  cards and check out MedGift’s wish lists when someone you love needs your help.  Just one of the things that makes MedGift refreshingly different.

The BRCA Genes and Their Link To Breast and Ovarian Cancer

The media has brought a lot of attention to BRCA12the BRCA genes in the past few years. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and the Kardashian family have highlighted their experiences and their motivations for pursuing genetic testing. Because of this growing attention, it is important to talk about the truths and myths of the BRCA genes.

The majority of cancers are not hereditary, or due to a broken gene that is passed down through the family. In fact, only 5-10% of breast cancers and approximately 25% of ovarian cancers are thought to be due to a broken gene that a person is born with. The BRCA genes account for the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, but there are other genes that are also associated with these cancers.

Both men and women have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. When these genes are working properly, they help protect us from cancer. However, if there is a genetic alteration, or mutation, in these BRCA genes, it causes them to become broken and they can no longer effectively protect us from cancer. When the BRCA genes are broken, there is a significant increase in a woman’s risk to develop breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Men can also have broken BRCA genes, which increases their risk for male breast, prostate, and other cancers. Genetic testing is able to detect mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. A person who has a broken BRCA gene has a 50% chance of passing it on to each of their children.

Meeting with a genetic counselor is the best way to determine if a person should pursue genetic testing. Genetic counselors are board-certified professionals with special expertise in genetics. These healthcare professionals are able to assess the likelihood of a hereditary cancer risk in the family, provide education on genetic testing options, discuss the implications, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing for the patient and their family members, and to discuss insurance and legal protections. Genetic counselors are also able to address the myths and misconceptions associated with genetic testing.

For most patients, genetic counseling and testing is empowering. It provides patients with the opportunity to be proactive with their health and/or the health of their family members. However, it is important to discuss the appropriateness and implications of genetic testing with a genetic counselor in order to determine if genetic testing is right for you.

Other types of cancers, including colon, pancreatic, stomach, and more rare cancers, can also be associated with different hereditary causes. A genetic counselor is able to assess your personal and family history to make sure that you are tested for the right genes.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a genetic counselor, please visit www.nsgc.org to find a genetic counselor in your area.

Ashley Runyon, MS
Genetic Counselor
Northside Hospital Cancer Institute
Hereditary Cancer Program in Atlanta, GA