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Janet was disabled, suffering from chronic emphysema, aging and thousands of miles away from her family. She relied heavily on her church to maintain independence and ensure that her basic needs were taken care of.

While they did their best to help her whenever they could, she still struggled with basic day-to-day needs. Getting groceries, paying bills, and housecleaning were close to impossible, and she didn’t want to be a burden on those who generously offered her support. She had to choose between independence and her most basic needs. She felt trapped.

Janet’s story is far from unique. In fact, about half of all adults in the U.S., about 117 million individuals, suffer from at least one chronic health condition and need assistance of some kind. With aging and chronic demographic shifts, this rate continues to climb, creating a serious cost burden for the family and the healthcare system. 86% of all U.S. health care costs can be attributed to delivering care for individuals with one or more chronic medical condition.

To compound the issue, the numbers in...

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The Rallyhood Development team released version 4.1 of our social collaboration platform a couple weeks ago. Among the many enhancements to the product in this release was making the user experience on mobile devices more intuitive and easier to navigate than ever.

It was another reminder that there is no down time when it comes to being innovative. Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.” The same is true of software innovation, especially in a startup. It’s an all the time thing.

Years ago, software development was a very different animal. It took many months – even years – to release an update to the customer base. Months would be spent writing code, doing QA, rewriting code and then putting it into beta environments. The cycle was so long that by the time the product was ready, the needs of the end customer had often changed.

Not so in today’s agile development environment. Teams are able to rapidly develop new software features and...

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Last week gave the Rallyhood team a couple of opportunities to celebrate.

First, Rallyhood received a Seton Healthcare Innovation award. This is the 10th year that Seton has recognized companies who are innovators in healthcare and every year, more and more companies participate for the honor.http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/05/prweb13383995.htm This year, 85 companies from around the country participated and three others - Patient IO, Unaliwear and VSee – along with Rallyhood, received awards.

As a startup, we work relentlessly every day to build our business and make a positive impact with our product. No doubt, every one of those 85 companies is trying to do the same thing. And every organization looks for that validation - whether through user feedback, customer adoption or organic growth – that they are in fact making a difference. It’s...

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In a space designed by world-renowned architects and filled with C-suite executives from a Fortune 50 company, only the occasional swallow and shift in chair broke what seemed to be almost a unified flow of breath as we listened to 31-year old Mike “Mikey” Thompson’s story of how human interactions and people rallying around him have kept him alive. Since the age of 10, Mikey has battled cancer four times – enduring over 75 surgeries, two bone marrow transplants, facial reconstruction and countless blood transfusions. At one point, Mikey explained that he was ready to quit. He had no more fight, but his community did. His people were not ready to let him give up. They rallied behind him, giving him hope and strength and kept him fighting.

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Five days and about 30,000 attendees later, SXSW Interactive came to a close this Tuesday. Once again, it was a remarkable showcase for all kinds of technology, from virtual reality to new apps to driverless cars. It brought to town some heavy hitters in the tech space as well as the President and the First Lady, who both called upon the tech industry to help solve the nation’s problems.

One of the nation’s biggest issues continues to be healthcare – how to reduce costs, improve the overall quality of care and help people live healthier, happier lives. The SXSW Health and MedTech track tackled many of these challenges and gave attendees a look into the future of healthcare. Topics included everything from online health services to big data to wearable devices. Rallyhood hosted a panel on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in partnership Seton Healthcare, which focused on patient communities and how they affect the continuum of care – showing just how far the industry has come.

Our panelists Rallyhood CEO and Founder Patti Rogers and Seton Medical Center Austin President Kate...

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Last week, I attended the Conference on Volunteering and Service hosted by Points of Light. Let me tell you, there is nothing more inspiring than to see change makers come together from across sectors, regions, roles and causes to learn from each other, collaborate and make a difference.

The dynamic world of volunteerism and service continues to evolve, and it was exciting to be surrounded with the country’s leaders in this arena to learn about their cutting-edge strategies for creating positive change. As I attended workshops, listened to engaging panels and caught up with new and old friends, a couple of themes emerged for me throughout the week:

· Prioritization of capacity-building – I heard countless corporate leaders discuss their commitments to support and fund capacity-building efforts as their organizations seek to sustain and scale initiatives. As anyone knows who has worked at a nonprofit organization, program outcomes are impossible without fundamental organizational support, and this prioritization of capacity-building from funders...

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We had the pleasure of sitting down with 13-year-old Grayson Denby, a young and talented adolescent who was inspired to donate cards to our #KidCancerCard campaign. This campaign united artists globally to donate their creative talent for children battling cancer as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Grayson’s drawing of a “rainbow unicorn kitty” was a favorite among our judges and has been selected to be featured on the LIVESTRONG and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas’ online card platforms.

Grayson’s love for drawing started when she was 11 and has continued to grow ever since. After seeing the Kid Cancer Card advertisement in August’s issue of Austin Monthly magazine, Grayson decided to submit numerous cards hoping to brightening the day of a child with cancer. Grayson explained that watching her mom’s friend battle ovarian cancer inspired her to participate in the campaign.

When she’s not drawing, Grayson spends time swimming, sailing and acting. She enjoys giving art as gifts and is currently working on a drawing of a dog for a family...

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September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know?

· Last year, over 10,000 children were diagnosed with cancer that’s about 29 kids every day.

· Every day about 4 kids under age 15 will die of cancer.

· The vast majority of kids who do survive will suffer long-term side effects.

· Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death (following accidents) in children ages 5 – 14.

As a community, how may we come together and take action to support families, caregivers, charities, and research and change the future for the next generation of children diagnosed with cancer?

Here’s what you can do this September to make a difference in the lives of kids with cancer:

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Back to School: Get your sanity back by starting your own Rally!

It’s t-minus one week until school starts, and I’m already overwhelmed with schedules, meet and greets, school supplies and school attire. To add to the complexity, I have three children in three different schools!

I am a working mom who has enlisted the help of babysitters to support us through the years, so communication is critical for all parties involved. As a parent, I need to ensure that my support system knows exact pick-up dates and times, homework assignments, gear to pack for practices and any other essential information. I worry about receiving a call that one of my kids was not picked up from school or an afterschool activity. In addition, the challenge of compiling all this information in an email or Excel spreadsheet is not easy either. Dates always change and trying to keep track of a spreadsheet just makes me want to cry.

So this year I decided to use Rallyhood to help me organize all key calendar dates, pick ups and supplies in one...

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and we want your help in spreading a little joy in the life of a survivor. Every September, our nation joins together to raise awareness for this deadly disease.

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Rallyhood is giving inspirational cards to young fighters at Austin area hospitals—and we want to feature YOUR artwork. We are searching for artists to help design uplifting, inspirational cards that will spread a little joy in the life of a survivor.

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