About Us - Bridge n Brighten - We combat isolation

Our Story
Bridge n Brighten

It's painful to see people in pain and isolation, and we have the ability to make it stop.

 Even before COVID19 hit, people were busy, distracted, and stressed.  For many, a healthy lifestyle wasn’t possible, due to all of the demands of life. Then the distance between many exponentially grew, as a global pandemic changed life as we knew it, and heavily targetted the already vulnerable and weak. 

I had a sense of what it’s like to be unbearably sick and alone, so I could empathize with people in seclusion and in the hospital. Back in 2017, I had a terrible flu that lasted 8 weeks but seemed like a lifetime. 

Soon after I recovered, our family faced the unimaginable,  as our 12-year-old daughter was suddenly propelled into emergency surgery to remove a baseball-sized cancerous brain tumour. We had been trying to find out why she was having painful headaches for about six months but were told by numerous medical professionals that it wasn’t neurological. 

Trying to get answers from the medical system with it’s complexities was long and frustrating, yielding no answers. Avaih (Ah-vay) suffered more and more each day. It shouldn’t have had to come to this – me angrily refusing to leave the ER until she could have an MRI. The results came a few hours later and we rushed to Mc Master Children’s hospital for emergency surgery. We came too close to being too late. 

This experience changed everyone is our family.  Navigating the health system and pushing through to get answers was not easy. There are gatekeepers, people who are too proud to double-check or do testing, and people who don’t listen to children and don’t recognize their pain is real.  We are thankful for the expert medical staff who saved Avaih’s life, despite the issues leading up to the surgery. 

People who are sick or in pain need a fierce advocate to get them answers. Our story proves it. What if I had not lost my temper in the ER? Since this experience, I’ve wanted to help others who need someone to advocate for them. 

My daughter is now a survivor, and we are so thankful that she is alive and well. 

Small kid happily posing in a pink outfit
Our daughter, Avaih.
Master paediatric

About a year later, we found ourselves in lockdown and I had some time to really think about all that had gone on the year before. My daughter had made a miraculous full recovery, (Thank you Grand River Hospital and Mc Master Children’s Hospital) which defied all odds by a longshot. My heart was full of gratefulness and awe. When the first wave of COVID19 hit, I heard the news of people dying alone on a respirator, and it was heartbreaking. Then the public began to hear of the neglect and abuse at some of the long-term care facilities, which was shocking, infuriating, and shameful. What surfaced from this, however,  was a general acknowledgment that long-term care, our health system, and home health care companies are all under-resourced and in need of change. 

Elderly man sitting on a wheel chair

At that time, isolation and illness were rampant. I decided that isolated or chronically ill people and those caring for them need practical help, guidance and emotional support. Loneliness is a solvable problem among the vulnerable. So, I want to bring it to light, that we can do it, as a community. 

During the first COVID lockdown, I began researching to start Bridge n Brighten.

What has evolved is a group of people who have a sincere interest in eradicating isolation and loneliness. Through listening to many stories, it was clear that caregivers are also very isolated, as they have no time for themselves or their own supportive relationships, and they are chronically under too much stress.

No one should have to live in isolation and be alone all the time or have to sacrifice their entire life and health because they are overwhelmed by caring for another. Our community should share responsibility. After all, many of the people needing care have built the amazing community we live in today. 

Bridge n Brighten

Dedicated to delivering warm, fun and friendly, reliable visits.

We want to hear from you. Let us know if there are gaps in your care and allow us to see if we can help or advocate for help. We are highly flexible and we aim to please. 

What people are saying about us

Testimonials and case studies

I hired Theresa to check in on my brother who lives alone. I was worried he would fall or have some kind of accident. Theresa bonded with him right away and she’s been so helpful!

Elaine, London Ontario

Bridge n Brighten was recommended to me by a friend when I lost my husband. I was terribly sad and my kids are grown up and have moved away now. The cold winters keep me inside most of the time, and days seem to drag on forever. My ‘friendly visitor’ is always cheerful, brings me little things to brighten my day, and asks me to tell stories about my younger years, which I love. I am so glad I called Bridge n Brighten, thank you!

Dorothy M, Waterloo, ON

Theresa has done wonders with our eldest daughter. She spends most of her time alone, as her anxiety keeps her from going outside. She always looks forward to the visits. It’s lovely to see our daughter coming out of her shell! Bruce and Shelley

Cambridge On

I called Bridge n Brighten when my mom’s health took a turn for the worst. I was stuck in Ottawa and couldn’t make it back to KW until the next day. Bridge n Brighten sent someone within a few hours to sit with mom, so she wouldn’t be alone. That really put my mind at ease. After that she spelled me off so I could sleep until my mom finally passed away. She was a God send.

Lionel K, Toronto, On