What does MyTEAM do?
There are many organizations within the Jewish frum community that lend support to people with major illnesses, but even non life threatening conditions, (such as Crohn’s, Diabetes, Lyme Disease, etc) call for a proper support system.
MyTEAM is an organization that provides peer support to frum high school and post seminary girls who are dealing with a non-life-threatening medical condition.
MyTEAM confidentially matches up ‘teammates’ for one-on-one peer support. A teammate is a peer who is going through a similar medical challenge. Each girl is also assigned a mentor, an older girl or young-married who has/had a medical challenge, to offer support, perspective, and guidance. MyTEAM also arranges monthly shiurim via teleconference by renowned speakers on topics chosen by the girls.
* Unfortunately, we do not deal with mental illness.
MyTEAM is made of 3 key components:
MyTEAMS's director/social worker performs an intake with the parents of each girl, and then a coordinator speaks with the girl herself to better understand her needs. MyTEAM then matches each girl with a peer of similar age, personality, and hashkafa who is dealing with a similar medical challenge. The girls typically speak over the phone once a week. Teammates are able to connect through their shared experiences and provide each other with much needed support.
Mentors are either post-seminary or young married women who have experienced or are still experiencing medical challenges. A mentor provides support and encouragement from a more mature perspective. MyTeam has a list of mentors who have/had a wide range of conditions. We research each mentor candidate, and then provide them with a crash mentor-training course. Girls and mentors are paired up one-on-one, and they typically speak on the phone every other week.
MyTEAM arranges monthly teleconferences by renowned Rabbonim, social workers, and mechanchos who each offer a unique angle in providing chizuk, coping skills, and perspective.
"When I first joined MyTEAM, I was afraid that I might lose my positivity if I began focusing on it again. Clearly, that wasn't a fear I needed to have because you're making people think in such a positive way!"
- Neurological Pain Disorder, 12th Grade
"MyTeam presents my daughter with lifelong friends and role models in the frum world. It gives her a framework for adjusting to her nisayon with a healthy Torah perspective. We were floundering and lost before MyTeam came into our lives and we thank Hashem all the time that He connected us to such an amazing organization."
- Crohn's Disease, 11th Grade
“When my doctor told me to start taking a new treatment at home that is uncomfortable to administer, I just couldn't bring myself to start. After I spoke to my teammate, and with her encouragement to just do it for myself, I had the courage to start. I was able to accept it because she's done it too and knows exactly what it is like.”
- Ulcerative Colitis, Age 22
"One evening, my daughter came home from school close to tears and clearly needed to talk. I heard her mutter, "I can't do this! I'm going to call my mentor." Later, I walked by her room and heard her laughing on the phone! Tears of gratitude sprung in my eyes as I blessed MyTEAM for giving us this wonderful gift of support."
- Autoimmune condition, 10th Grade
"MyTEAM gave me an outlet to use the lessons I learned through my struggle with chronic illness to help others. I am now a mentor for a high school girl, and I had the privilege to speak on the teleconference. When you are able to give back, it gives the struggle meaning!"
- Lyme Disease, Age 22
"While I'm pushing through school, trying my hardest, while doctors tell me that there is nothing to do, while my life still continues along with the emotional roller-coaster that is chronic illness, MyTEAM is there, cheering me on, giving me perspective, showing me that I'm not alone, some people do get it."
- POTS, 12th Grade