In 2006, I was a carefree 23-year-old in her first job out of college. Everything in life seemed to be going the way I had planned. But during a routine doctor’s appointment, the physician found a lump in my neck. That’s when everything changed.
The doctor held out hope that it was nothing serious. In one doctor’s appointment after another, I kept hoping for good news, but never got any. The final diagnosis was thyroid cancer.
There were multiple surgeries, radiation treatments, and follow-ups. It wasn’t fun. I was just getting my life started, and then suddenly I was facing death and the certain possibility of life-long health concerns. With a lot of people’s help, I got through it. I have passed the 5-year mark without a recurrence; this battle has been won.
Despite the struggle, I am grateful for the turns my life took during this time. Just after my surgeries, I reconnected with an old acquaintance (Brian), who recently became my husband. Cancer also changed how I viewed my life and what I wanted it to mean. I went from a 23-year-old content to cruise through a simple life, to someone who wanted to try new challenges and help other people along the way, having appreciated all of the help I received throughout my battle with cancer.
Both of these things, Brian and new life aspirations, led to the creation of Giftovus.
One night Brian really wanted to spend time together talking about our days (yes, I know I’m lucky), but I was busy trying to figure out a good Mother’s Day gift. He briefly observed my sister and I exchanging a few ideas, and then browsing the Internet for a gift, emailing URLs back and forth.
Brian loves puzzles, particularly when he gets to be the first to solve them. He thought it would be fun to find a service or a way to help my sister and I find gifts how we wanted. He also thought it would save us time and give us a chance to catch up.
But he couldn’t find it. There just wasn’t an efficient way for my sister and I to have a long distance discussion about gifts the way we wanted.
I should mention now that Brian is also the type of person who asks “why not?” a lot. Why isn’t there a place where people who want to give a gift can collaborate and share? Why does it have to be so difficult or impersonal?
With Brian’s technical skill and my desire to help, we made Giftovus.