Inspiring Women: Sona Mehring

Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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It began out of personal need. With a pair of friends going through a high-risk pregnancy, Sona Mehring decided to develop a website that could connect with their friends to let people know what was going on in their health journey.

Out of that personal need, was born. Today, 15 years later, it’s a global connector of friends and family who can share stories and messages of hope.

On Friday during Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Seattle, the Minnesota Lynx honored Mehring, an Eagan resident and the CEO of CaringBridge, as part of the team’s Inspiring Women series. Mehring was selected as one of 2011’s Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company and in 2010 received Health Care Heroes honors from Twin Cities Business Magazine.

Founded in 1997, CaringBridge is an internationally recognized website used by friends and families going through health events. Not only was it a way for Mehring to help her friends connect, but it had the potential to be something much bigger for others around the globe.

“It’s really grown primarily through word of mouth, but it’s really been a global phenomenon where anyone going through health issues using CaringBridge can keep their family up to date,” Mehring said.

In 2011 alone, 43 million people visited CaringBridge, according to the nonprofit’s official website.

Mehring said the key ingredient in the website’s success has been people wanting to share their support for others.

“The underlying mission is to underlie love, hope and compassion, making every health journey easier,” Mehring said. “And this is so important to connect people no matter where they are, when they are or how they are. Especially with mobile devices and stuff you can connect instantly. CaringBridge continues to bring that to people.”

Friday night was a special evening for Mehring, who was honored at center court during the second quarter for her work with CaringBridge. She was greeted with an ovation from the Target Center crowd when Lynx President Chris Wright presented her with an autographed Lynx team ball.

Being a longtime Minnesota resident, Mehring said she is a Lynx fan who has enjoyed watching the team’s success in the WNBA as well as the trio of Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus representing Team USA in the Olympics this summer.

She said the Lynx are influential not only through their play on the court but the message they send to their fans off it.

“It’s inspiring,” Mehring said. I think the Lynx are a great symbol not only for basketball but for girls growing up. I think it’s important that we continue to recognize their leadership in everything women can do. And I think the Lynx provide that.”

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