It was a few days after I had gutted our laundry and bathroom when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was overwhelming.
I remember thinking that this couldn’t be happening because I was in the middle of renovating and I really needed to get that done.
When my breast care nurse sent me a welcome pack, there was a link to Gather My Crew. I knew I didn’t have the brain space to coordinate help while processing what treatment was going to look like and coming to terms with the upheaval of life I was experiencing.
I made a Facebook post as a response to the many kind “let me know if I can help” messages I had received. I am grateful that many of my friends, family and colleagues jumped on board and joined my crew.
The practical tasks were a lifesaver – not only for the everyday needs like meals, watching kids, washing, etc., but also for help with completing renovating tasks to get the bathroom and laundry finished.
It was a true team effort.
From my experience, some of my favourite things about the app are:
1. The app took away the awkwardness and vulnerability of asking for help.
2. The ability to assign another admin. My husband, mum and best friend all took turns being admin at different times to take the load off me.
3. The layers of access to tasks. I was really glad that I had the option to set certain tasks for my inner circle only when it involved my kids or intimate/sensitive jobs.
4. I was supported during the marathon of my cancer journey rather than just at the start.
5. When there were times that I was isolating or not up to seeing people, getting a notification to say someone had accepted a task was a lovely reminder of the support I had.
6. My crew found it easy to use and liked the real time notifications and the ability to help in a way that was meaningful and fit their schedules.
7. When my treatment was coming to an end, I was able to scroll back and see who helped us so that I could thank them properly.
Amongst a hard set of circumstances, using GMC to activate my support crew has been a special opportunity to teach my kids what it looks like to have your “village” supporting you and in turn, how we can play our part in our friend’s villages.
It has shown them that even though sometimes we face hard things, the support of a village makes it far less scary.