Telling Their Stories
David Hilfiker and Kris Bakowski recently joined notables such as Randy Pausch and Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie” hero Morrie Schwartz, who decided to go public and discuss a personal diagnosis. Whether it is therapy for them or not, these messages really help us – the general public – by demystifying their situations and connecting us to their journeys.
David was profiled recently in an article on Mashable saying:
“I’m a bit of an exhibitionist…so I like to talk about a lot of the things that are important to me and ... relate to my inner life in some way.” By that, he means his relationships with family and friends, which he believes have grown stronger since his diagnosis.
Kris also talks about how reaching out about her condition helped her build a support network that has helped her build strong social networks:
"It’s amazing, the number of emails that I get where people find themselves in the same situation that I was when I was first diagnosed, and they need help," Kris says….
"Several people live within 20 to 30 miles from me," she says, "so we try to get together for coffee as often as we can and 'compare notes.'"
Both offer a similar lesson: talking with others about important issues helps bring people closer and helps provide a sense of control and support. For many people, making their medical wishes clear in an advance directive is a natural opportunity to have important and empowering conversations with their friends and family. That’s one of the reasons we took over 5 years to develop and test ours - to make sure we built a system that engaged all the stakeholders and gives something meaningful and actionable to doctors when and if there is an emergency.
Thank you Kris and David for sharing your stories with us!