when two friends with vastly different incurable diseases discover an untapped sense of understanding


In 2016, Martel Catalano and Nell Pritchard were introduced over oatmeal and coffee. It wasn't long until they found themselves deep in conversation filled with laughter and tears. While they live with two different medical conditions, there was a kindred spark of honesty and understanding.

Despite their inability to grasp each other’s struggles on a physical level, they related on an emotional one.

Martel and Nell had each explored spaces for their own conditions, eager to find someone who could relate to what they were going through. What they individually found was that condition-specific groups have a tendency to compare notes, vent, and commiserate. Looking to share a sense of hope rather than hopelessness, they set out to change the conversation. Starting with an online support group, their focus was simple:

Use mindfulness, awareness, and compassion to relieve the inherent stress of having, or loving someone with, a serious illness or disability.

What started as a supportive relationship between two individuals has grown into far more. Today, BMB is a resource extending the same kind of compassionate support Martel and Nell once provided for each other to people around the world. It is a nonprofit organization helping others learn how to live life to the fullest, rather than in sadness or anger, through support and educational resources. It is a flicker of light in a world that sometimes feels dark – and that flame is growing stronger each day.