MedMentor of Greater Cincinnati is the only local organization to positively impact the lives of young patients through 1-to-1 mentorship. Each youth is matched with a trained, professionally supported adult patient living with the same medical condition. Youth are empowered through individualized guidance and support from their mentor.
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Message From Our Founder.
Bullying… and how a Mentor Could Have Helped.
It’s no secret that bullying has become a national epidemic. No one is immune to the shameful act of bullying. Some kids even live with a target on their back. Take the two boys pictured below, for example. Seven Bridges (left) and Tyler Butler-Figueroa (right) were bullied for something completely out of their control. Seven had a medical condition that required him to live with an ostomy while Tyler lost his hair during chemotherapy treatment for leukemia. I imagine these boys went through pain and suffering that very few of their friends or family members, if any, could relate to. But what if each of these boys had the ability to work through their challenges with an adult patient (a mentor) who had gone through similar challenges as a child? I believe these shared experiences would have given Seven and Tyler the confidence to know they are not alone.
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with Seven and Tyler’s stories now.
I can relate to Seven and Tyler because I believed I was different and all alone in my fight against Crohn’s disease. As a teenager, I suppressed my thoughts and emotions because no one around me could empathize with what I was thinking or feeling. To understand the difference between empathy and sympathy, please watch this short video narrated by Brene Brown. It may help you connect differently with your friends and loved ones.
As hard as it is to hear how Seven’s journey ended, the truth is, many patients are faced with suicidal thoughts. In fact, those who become socially isolated have a higher degree of life stress and have more than four times the risk of death by suicide.
My hope for patients like Seven and Tyler is that they turn to the “instrument" that helps them know they are not alone. At MedMentor, we believe that “instrument" is a mentor because “what makes something better, is connection," Brene Brown.