Our Timeline


Our Beginnings

On June 7, 1997, JoAnn Hardegger and Darrin Swanson have a little girl named Brighid three months premature. The website Sona creates receives 1,000 hits in one week. Sadly, after a 9-day struggle, against tremendous odds, Brighid dies in surgery.

Sona receives the first donation to support this free service.

Sona repositions her IT company, Beacon Point Technologies, to include CaringBridge, initially known as Patient Internet Link.

1997, December

Expanding Our Reach

By the end of 1997, there are 50 personal websites that have 4,900 visits.

2001, December

Site by Site We Grow

CaringBridge home office takes over Sona’s family dining room.

By the end of 2001, there are 3,800 personal websites with 372,400 visits.


It's Official

CaringBridge launches a board of directors with seven members and is granted its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.


Our First Hire

Until the first employee was hired in 2003, CaringBridge was completely run by 46 volunteers. This same year, the team moved into its first official office space. By the end of the year, there are 11,522 personal websites with 10,704,145 visits.


1 Million Strong

CaringBridge.org hits 1 million views, individual contributions hit $500,000, and, by the end of the year, there are 19,585 personal websites with 18,409,496 visits.


Outgrowing Home

With 16 employees, 109 volunteers, and 14 board members, CaringBridge moves to its second office space. By the end of the year, there are 50,511 personal websites with 49,895,742 visits.


A Decade & Counting

At the ripe old age of 10, CaringBridge is featured on NBC Nightly News and now has 81,355 personal sites with 69,026,126 visits.


Going Global – A Billion Served

CaringBridge is used in all 50 states and more than 225 countries/territories around the world.  185,264 personal websites reached the milestone of 1 billion visits.


Forrester Findings

A survey conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of CaringBridge showed that 91 percent of respondents facing a health crisis found that using CaringBridge to stay connected with family and friends helped make their individual health journey easier, while 88 percent said using CaringBridge positively impacted their healing process.

A CaringBridge video is featured in Times Square.

2013, August

Hope in a Book

CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring’s first book, Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge is published.


2 Billion Visitors

More than 2 billion visitors to CaringBridge since launching in 1997.



Sona steps down as CEO to become chief ambassador, a position that allows her to focus on raising awareness and speaking about the healing power of social support and its effect on health outcomes.

As part of a carefully planned succession, Liwanag Ojala becomes CEO.


Exploring Healing

To mark its 20th year, CaringBridge asked patients and caregivers across the country to talk about the ways they have found healing, even when a cure is not possible. Their stories were captured in photos and video by National Geographic photographer David McLain and have become the series named How We Heal and Caregivers Up Close.


Sona Retires

Founder Sona Mehring retires in June, as CaringBridge marks its 20th anniversary. Her legacy: 743,516 personal websites and more than 2.1 billion visits.


CaringBridge Goes Mobile

The launch of a new CaringBridge app makes it faster and easier for patients and caregivers to provide updates, and for loved ones to send messages of help, hope and healing.



The CaringBridge board of directors appointed Tia Newcomer as the new Chief Executive Officer. She succeeds Liwanag Ojala after nearly seven years of record-setting impact. Newcomer’s strengths in healthcare leadership, digital technology, and her track record of building and creating great cultures and purposedriven brands will help take CaringBridge to the next stage of growth, continuing to build on the vision of a world where no one goes on a health journey alone. 


World Caring Day

CaringBridge announces the first World Caring Day, June 7, 2022, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CaringBridge and the millions of acts of caring—from great to small—that happen every day. The celebration includes a light display at the Mall of the America, and a new website to share stories of caring and to recognize, thank, honor and celebrate both those who care and those who are cared for at www.worldcaringday.org.

CaringBridge Staff 2023

No One Should Go Through a Health Journey Alone

Help us tackle the isolation and overwhelming feelings surrounding a health crisis with the power of connection.