My name is Kate Milliken. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006. One week into my diagnosis, someone introduced me to another woman who had lived with MS for thirty years. I thought talking to her would help, but it didn't. She was bitter and I wanted to be hopeful.
I made a documentary about my first year with MS called katescounterpane.com; I made a choice to be emotionally honest through video, photos and text. Kate's Counterpane launched in 2009 and I continue to get 2-3 phone calls a week from people newly diagnosed who are deeply grateful for its presence. This has made me realize that people need a way to connect each other not only via sharing the daily experience of illness (the clinical) but by sharing the emotions behind the illness (the psychological). This is how the Moodifier™ was born.
The Moodifier can be accessed on a desktop or smartphone and is designed for patients, caregivers and supporters. It offers a way to tell your story via text, photos and videos and to categorize the emotional highs and lows. By using it, other users can view someone's entire emotional journey in one look, making it easier to find someone who might be a positive connection.
By contributing to my campaign, you are helping me build a version of this tool, to be found on mycounterpane.com.
This site will be a place where a newly diagnosed individual can find someone who offers context to all the scary "what ifs." It is a place where the longest sufferers of chronic illness may be given a renewed sense of purpose. It is a place where caregivers, whose lives have been forever changed by the illness of someone they love, have a platform to seek practical advice and share their own feelings. It is a place is where patients and caregivers undergoing treatment can update friends and family on their progress.
A counterpane is a patchwork quilt created from a variety of fabrics which, when sewn together, creates warmth and beauty as a whole. My Counterpane is the experiential version of this quilt: A community that celebrates the virtual, remembers the real, and ultimately, counters pain with the knowledge of who we are, what we know, and how we feel.
The first counterpane at mycounterpane.com will be focused around MS. As the site gains traction, other diseases will follow, broadening our focus and expanding our user base. Your contribution is critically appreciated, as is the simple but tremendously helpful act of passing this link along to anyone you know who may be interested in what we're doing. Also, if you'd like to receive the initial version of this site once built, please sign up for a notifcation at signup.mycounterpane.com- no spam, just an email introducing you to the tangible result of many generous people who have decided to help me launch my dream.