In the last few months of her life Diem Brown prayed for a cure. She had battled cancer twice before and it was back. Although she would never say it, I am certain she knew it did not look good …we all knew. In the last few days of her life she prayed for a miracle, not because she didn’t want to die, because she desperately wanted to live. There was no cure….there was no miracle.
Diem was driven to unlock the desire and willingness in each of us to help others, she had walked the mile in their shoes. She opened our heart with her conviction to build a web-based destination she named MedGift for that purpose. There were four of us who joined hands to make it happen and she held our hands until the very end. In spite of what she was going through she seldom missed one of our regular Thursday status calls. We are steadfastly committed to MedGift and Diem’s dream because we share her belief there is a silent crisis in our country of people disconnected from those who care and love them.
The MedGift Voice is an additional path to help bring an end to silence. Its intended to not only be our voice but we hope yours as well.
Everyone grieves in different ways. However, I believe we all have one universal mission after the loss of a friend or loved one and that is to carry on their legacy and to keep their memory alive. For some it’s planting a tree, or buying a bench in their name, for others it’s running for a charity in their honor. For my family and me it’s following through with Diem’s life passion which was helping patients connect to those that care through her creation, MedGift.Com.
If you followed Diem’s story you know she came up with the concept of MedGift after being diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She sat in her hospital room surrounded by friends, family and hundreds of dollars’ worth of flowers, balloons and treats. She couldn’t help but think of the costly and stressful road ahead and whether the support she had in the hospital would follow her journey as a patient. The sad truth is that many times it doesn’t. Inevitably, the initial super rally from friends and family wanes. They go back to school, work, their own problems and lives, life keeps moving. All the while, the patient undergoing the hardship is still suffering, adopting to their new reality of hospital rooms, appointments, bills, piles of paperwork, and pain while riding an emotional roller coaster. More often than not the patient is too proud or uncomfortable to reach out for help, whether it be physical, emotional or financial. That’s where MedGift comes in. Diem wanted a place for the paitent to vent their feelings, a place where they could list their needs, schedules, and updates, to not feel like a burden and always have that super rally of support at their fingertips.
I look forward to the future of MedGift, to reading about as many of you as I can through the campaigns you start. Maybe you start one for yourself, maybe you start one for a loved one, or a dear friend in need. MedGift can help. I also look forward to this blog, The MedGift Voice, being a place where patients, caregivers and advocates can come start discussions, ask questions, get answers and feel support. We are all in this together. I believe in MedGift, not just because it’s part of who my sister was but because my family and I needed it during some of the darkest hours, days and months of our lives. That’s support, in every sense of the word.