Some businesses were created in a garage with high school friends laughing and joking one weekend about a silly need and a way to stay close forever. This is not that type of story.
I-Ally was created first and foremost because of a lack of support and understanding for younger caregivers.
Lucinda Koza, the CEO, and Founder, found herself in a situation that many caregivers find alone.
Her life was thrown when her dad suffered a debilitating stroke in the blink of an eye. She found herself in a situation that you do not expect to be in your early thirties, a caregiver.
You are still at the age of needing your parents, and within moments you are now parenting your parent and taking care of someone full-time.
Finding resources was complex.
Finding resources for a much younger family caregiver felt impossible.
So, she did something about that and created a problem that she knew she was not the only one struggling to find.
Matthew grew up around caregivers, but not in a typical way. After his mom saw firsthand the challenges of caring for loved ones, she opened a personalized in-home care service company to provide families care safely, reliably, and from the comfort of home (no matter where home may be at the time).
From growing up with grandparents with Alzheimer’s disease to watching his mom start and run a business to give patients top-of-the-line care to working daily by his mom’s side. Matthew was born with a heart of gold but was raised watching families at such vulnerable times in their lives that it was no wonder when he heard about I-Ally; he was more than willing to help Lucinda.
Matthew created his mobile app during the pandemic to help family caregivers. While he was in the process of designing building his social media, he came across I-Ally.
Messages became meetings, and Matthew joined Lucinda to help her mission expand I-Ally to a level never tried.
He believed in Lucinda and I-Ally so much that he put down his app and joined I-Ally as the Chief Marketing Officer. Together the two of them were going to do the unthinkable.
One was raised surrounded by caregivers, and one was a current caregiver on a mission to support others.
One became Two.
I was asked to share my story and have it featured on an Instagram page. The Peace Pals Project (@peace_pals) wants to bring people together by allowing people to share stories and help connect individuals who resigned with a story posted on their page.
A month after my story was posted, they shared Lucinda’s story. I remember reading hers and for a moment questioned if I wrote the post I was reading because everything she wrote, I felt.
I immediately messaged the Instagram page asking for Lucinda’s contact information because I just knew in my heart that together we could do amazing things.
Within SECONDS of our first meeting, we both knew we had an undeniable bond. I think it was the first time in a long time that either of us felt understood.
Caregivers are a small group of individuals that understand what it is like to be surrounded and yet feel so alone at the same time.
To find someone who not only understood that feeling but who wanted to take that feeling and do something with it was empowering.
She got it; she got me.
Two became Three.
I love that social media brought us together. It is the most millennial way to get people together for a business built around helping millennials find support and feel together in moments where they feel as if there is no one out there to understand their life as a caregiver.
Lucinda, Matt, and I all have different stories.
We are in different parts of our stories.
One from the outside, one has found ambition from the anger, and one is still in the midst of caregiving, trying to navigate life.
That is what I love about our Three-rrific love story.
We are three people, three stories, at three different points in our lives that have come together with one purpose- to help caregivers.
Together we learn, we grow, and honestly try and survive.
But, I love knowing that the care we give others is three stories from three different points in life and that caregivers will get support in different ways from different angles because of how we came together.
As you will see around every Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Craft store with wooden pallets and quotes, “we may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”