Social media tool helps a mother fight cancer

When you are dealing with illness or disabilities, it can be difficult to ask for help. Perhaps, you do not know what you need...or maybe you do not want to impose.

Fortunately, new media has recently been combined with social innovation and given birth to the TYZE network. This online tool allows you to break down an overwhelming situation into small delegated tasks. You can coordinate assistance through a calendar, send out updates and share stories. 

Recently, I shared my personal story of caring for my mother through cancer. Although this story contains unique elements, it is unfortunately quite common. A recent Met Life Market Institute study reports that the percentage of adult children providing care to a parent has more than tripled over the past 15 years.

As young adults are increasingly taking on the challenge of caregiving, new media is growing exponentially. The creation of the TYZE network provides a solution that allows online innovation to become a remedy for crisis.                  

During this chapter of my life, I have been learning a lot about burnout and the importance of asking for help. TYZE has helped me reach out to a small supportive network that helps out in extraordinary ways.

For example, my mother needed a wheelchair, and we couldn't afford one that was comfortable and fit her properly. I put out a message on TYZE saying, "Hi there! We really need a wheelchair for my mom".

Within 24 hours, our friend in Bellingham had tracked down a fantastic second-hand wheelchair...and we borrowed it, for free!

By meeting people where they are at in their willingness and ability to assist us, we are not overwhelming any one person. This is also helping me to avoid burnout. Everyone is in it together.

It's my hope that we will continue to build a network that will care for people with dignity and compassion. 

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