2009 was a really interesting year. 2018 is of course also an interesting year, but the briefest way to explain 2009, I guess that is bullet points. I’ve had a hard time figuring out how I’m going to organize all that I want to share, so I think it is best to just be as brief as possible, so I have at least something. Then I can expand when it feels right and I’m not too focused on something else.
- Pregnant. I was very pregnant by the time 2009 started, and due on April Fools Day
- Healthy. I wasn’t (MS-wise) experiencing any symptoms, and was off meds as one of my doc’s recommended.
- Employed. I was working at a company where I felt appreciated and known.
- Recently Married. I got married in 2008 to Geoff, who also goes by Geoster sometimes….
…ok, and THEN?
- Laid off at the very end of February. Yes. I was about 8 months pregnant and laid off.
- July…I needed some support. Life had gotten tough, and decisions needed to be made and I couldn’t really feel anything in my hands…. After I was looking for a support group online, failing miserably, I went to search for support from other people around all the difficult decisions I was making that were about nursing, medication, and soon things like surgery on my arteries (!) and I found that all the “boards” I found were not quite exclusive enough. Parents of people with MS (any age) were mixed in with the moms and dads who were going through both having MS and having children.
- Later in month, I was still searching madly for just “moms with ms” and ended up on a domain registrar site.
- Having designed a lot of sites, and also having graduated from design school and searching more….I saw that this was a huge need!!! So yes, I registered a few domains!!
- Then I started researching platforms for online community websites, and ended up setting up MomsWithMS.com on ning.com…which was the beginning
- Ning wasn’t quite cutting it….and I started a Facebook group that soon got super popular…though I was as strict (as I could be) about who could join.
- We also became a national fundraising team for the National MS Society. This wasn’t because I thought they were so great, (not being able to get help for the mom-ish things I needed was part of why I created the site) but I knew that lots of moms would find them first and if they had the same experience they would need some peer support. We’ve raised an excess of 20k most years, I haven’t been able to track it all but currently for 2018 we have under this team raised over 20k again (nice job moms!!).
- I also evantually had things like momswithms.org registered and I started trying to get some other moms to blog, it was hosted on my own personal site which was KristinBennett.com and sadly…it actually ended up getting trashed. This was a hosting issue and related to choosing the wrong company to work with, because technically I was asking for some updates on the server WAY before the problem showed up…but I didn’t switch, they didn’t budge, and yes, site got infected with a virus and eventually disappeared. You can see old versions of it on the lovely archive.org though!
Getting harder to be so concise…but I’ll give you a quick status update as of this moment. I’m in the middle of relaunching a new version of the site that I’m thinking will be more of a directory. We’ve raised