As many of you know, my daughter, Crystal , was diagnosed with a giant cell sacrum tumor (benign but very very rare) in September of 2007 which then returned again in January 2008. She has been through a year and a half of multiple operations and radiation treatments with the most recent operations at the end of January 2009 so she still has quite a way to go on the road to recovery through physical therapy to rebuild her stamina.
We cannot say enough good things about the way her law firm has supported her through this entire process and following updates on her CaringBridge blog. We were able through one post to keep our family, her friends, her work associates, and her clients spread nationwide informed with one simple post on their journal feature.
Everyone we needed to tell as we have been on “this marathon” as she has called it is kept informed without us having to return phone calls and reply to individual emails because the caringbridge feature also allows you to update news on their journal, photos, and has a guest book blog where your work associates, family, and friends can provide well wishes. I just can’t say enough great things about this and the agony it saved me from having to tell Crystal’s story over and over on the phone during many times I just have been too down to talk about it as we had our ups and downs of the good and bad news we learned along the way to recovery.
When you register your Caringbridge site it is entirely free and supported through donation links found on their site. Here is a link to brochures you can download, buttons you can post on your site, website codes so you can upload a link for your employees and much more.
We learned of this site through the outstanding Cancer pain management clinic where we regularly have to go through this process which is a department through Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, Tn.
Many many thanks to Rachel McDowell at this clinic who has been our source of strength at times we were just not up to it. Also many many special thanks to Ginger Holt, who with her “attorney jokes to Crystal” about ” i drew the bad straw having to carve into an attorney” has provided us with the most miraculous results. I cannot begin to say enough fantastic things about her. Even when an operation did not involve the oncology side of things, she would come by and visit us to provide encouragement, much needed jokes, and follow up with other specialists. Crystal , Chad and family are all now vigorous supporters of Vanderbilt hospital and the CaringBridge program they told us about. I’m not sure we would have gotten through this horrid past 1.5 years wihout Caringbridge’s site.
The Caring Bridge site also allows donation Tributes to your fallen comrades in their honor which is a great way to solve the issue of where associates can make donations on their behalf.
I decided to publish it on this blog because of the mobile nature of the claim industry with adjusters out on temporary catastrophe assignments. What a fantastic tool this would be as well as a time saver for adjusting firms, carriers with national catastrophe teams, and for adjusters who might get sick, fall off a roof ,or otherwise injured while away from home.
Registering for the site does not require that you disclose your name, instead you can use a nickname or other options. How about naming it in your adjusting firm name where you can post any news on serious health issues of your firm members for your entire group? Once you register for a caringbridge site, you just invite those who are looking for news to stay informed while working on the road.
Their brochures would be great to pass out at your yearly conferences for your adjusters or at annual claim conventions. Who better to support such a valuable site for associates injured or facing substantial medical issues than the insurance claims industry?
Through my daughter’s use of the site, we were able to communicate 24/7 when we could not get cell phone or blackberry email coverage in the hospital during long stays. Doesn’t this sound just like adjusters out on the road in the first wave of a major catastrophe?
Possibly if enough of us in the insurance claims industry whether you are staff, independent, or public adjusters or adjusting firms support this program they will create a category just for insurance adjusters to support us as well? Claims adjusters need to be supported by communities nationwide instead of all the negative news posted after a major disaster. Just like Red Cross disaster or other emergency responders, they do suffer extreme emotional issues when dealing with insurance consumers who have experienced a major crisis.
Thank you especially to Crystal’s employer Boult-Cummings-Connors-and-Berry (recently merged with another firm to become Arant, Boult, Cummings, Plc . Here is a link to my daughter’s bio from one proud mom.
**Update 3/5/09- She gave me permission today to link to her CaringBridge site as she agrees it would be educational for adjusters- especially those in health care claim processing and approvals:
Through the Caringbridge updates, members of this remarkable firm have stood behind her supporting her with their prayers, prayer groups during operations, flowers sent to her regularly, cards to her home, and meals delivered to her home for months as she repeatedly underwent operations.
We had volunteers from her firm come to her home and assist with the children’s transportation needs, attorneys and paralegals come and clean house from top to bottom on their weekends, and many times (thank you Julie, Sandra, Dale, Sharon, her bosses , Ann Cargile and Bob Wood, and so many many more I don’t know the names of) just come sit at the hospital with me while we sat in fear waiting for news from the doctor when operations were finished.
Many also filled in for me on nights or weekends when I was just exhausted beyond belief and just needed sleep as Chad (her husband) majored in the 3 boys needs while I concentrated on her. We could never have gotten through this road to recovery without “the Boult family” who continues to support her on the road to recovery.
This firm will never know what a comfort it brings to our extended family nationwide to know that her position awaits her after such a long period of recovery. It makes her very happy to just know her office is waiting for her. It does wonders for her! This law firm should definitely be rewarded as the top law firm in the US for any awards available for their empathy and compassion for a fellow attorney. They have gone above and beyond any possible expectations we could have imagined to support her.
Won’t you share a link on your site and share their brochures with your adjusters today? They have options for button tabs and other advertisement tabs and you can upload all kinds of other great tools for your mobile adjusters.
I know I cannot thank the members of ClaimSmentor enough who have offered up prayers and well wishes on the guestbook link to my daughter’s caring bridge site. I had never met most of these folks in person such as Tom N, owner of Action Catastrophe Claims, but this firm has supported us by regularly posting guest entries on the Caringbridge guest blog.
There are so many other adjusters and claim managers that have also supported me behind the scenes through posts in our forums, private messages, calls, emails and prayers by reading her link at our e-mentoring site based on their reading of her journal entries.
I spent hours last night reading back through all of her journal entries and it really helped lift my spirits and to realize how much progress she has made and to reconfirm what a courageous remarkable person she is. She has had such a remarkable knack I do not possess for remaining calm while dealing with medical emergencies or the ups and downs through the recovery process.
Her journals which bring so much insight into the fears a person faces while being bomblasted with radiation and undergoing operations. I told her this morning that it should be required reading for all liability adjusters, workers compensation adjusters, and health claims adjusters processing medical insurance claims so they might learn a little empathy about not only what a patient has undergone but the nightmares their families suffer through. It just might help insurance companies and adjusters better evaluate damages when evaluating the settlement value of a claim or processing health care benefit claims.
Whether you know her or not, her road to recovery through her CaringBridge story would bring tears to the most toughened adjuster’s eyes.
Hopefully one day I will have her permission to make the link to her journal public versus limited to her network circle (ok Crystal I know I shared it with my network circle through ClaimSmentor too and their support has been outstanding). While I do not have my daughter’s permission to share her link yet, here is one you can view that I just had to post for a very good friend who just learned she has stage 4 cancer but no computer skills to keep her family and friends updated so you can see a sample of how an active one works: