Help Literacy Hub

Monica’s Story

Recently, I lost my brother, Joseph, to prostate cancer. I was his primary carer.

Over the last months of his life, he became more dependent on me to drive him to appointments, as well as manage his other care needs.

I was struggling. In fact, I was breaking.

Friends and family offered to help but coordinating that on top of everything else was overwhelming.

I considered a shared online calendar but setting that up took more focus than I had at the time. And then I remembered hearing a podcast, in which Mia Freedman recommended an app that helped organise meals for a friend recovering from surgery.

I couldn’t remember the name but a google search found me Gather My Crew and I knew that I’d found the answer to our problem.

Within a week, I had set up the tasks and our crew.

Joe had drivers for his thrice weekly hospital visits for transfusions and to see his oncologist.

Not only did this give me a little respite, it meant Joe got to catch up with friends from all the parts of his life. His friends and family could know when and where help was needed which allowed them to show Joe that he was supported.

Joe was humbled and comforted by the circle that gathered around him. And as his needs escalated, and he could no longer cook for himself, it became a running joke as to which of his ‘crew’ made the best breakfast or dinner.

I think one of the major strengths of the app is that it took the pressure off both the person asking for help and the person giving help. It can be a very hard thing to do, ask for help. It can also be very hard to refuse a request even if it is not a ‘task’ you really feel up to.

I cannot thank you enough for easing the load during what was an extremely difficult time.

I have told everyone I know about your wonderful app. I have let them know that even though they might not need it at this moment, to lodge it somewhere so that when the time comes, they, like me, can bring it forward.

I have been surprised that medical staff, general practitioners, palliative care staff had not heard of Gather My Crew…

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