Rare Life. Rare You.In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.
Life Branches was formed to provide emotional support and guidance to patients living with rare diseases. Our goal is to teach patients how to cope with the diagnosis and journey of living with a rare disease and overcoming emotional hurdles when faced with medical challenges.
How We Help
Living with a rare disease often feels impossible. Just getting out of bed can be a struggle. Life Branches was started to provide the emotional help and support you need in trying to maintain a normal life. It’s hard for others to understand that you may look okay on the outside, but suffering or in pain on the inside.
Our goal is to provide free emotional counseling, involving peer support and methods to manage the social and emotional impact of your disease. Using sponsorships from companies allows Life Branches to provide all services at no cost to you.
Ellen Scherr, Founder, CEO
M.S., Counseling & Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
I’m so glad you’re here!
If you are a patient with a rare disease looking for the emotional support you need during this difficult time, you’ve landed in the right place. I know the responsibilities and challenges you face every day can be overwhelming and the hurdles can be enormous.
My mother was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus when I was a young child so I know how physically and emotionally debilitating a rare disease can be and the additional impact it has on family members.
I spent many years working in hospital settings and private practice and most recently with Patient Advocacy at a pharmaceutical company. I am now turning my education, experience, and passion to help individuals, and their families, with rare diseases to improve their lives.
I chose a tree to represent this organization because a tree is a symbol of stability, growth and strength. My goal is to help you use these attributes to move forward from feeling helpless to feeling hopeful by working closely with you and learn about your individual emotional and social challenges, as well as your physical symptoms.
We all have dreams and expectations for our life. Your diagnosis does not have to redirect your goals. You may just need new ways to get there.
I bring life experiences with real-life techniques, along with my sense of humor and empathy.
Let’s work together to give you the life you want and deserve.
Our first program, Courageous Transitions, is one of the first of its kind and was developed specifically to provide emotional support for adolescents and young adults living with a rare disease. This program consists of several different modules: depression, anxiety, self-esteem, social isolation, self-compassion, and mindfulness. During this 6-week course you will learn emotional and life skills and have an opportunity to share and hear from other patient experiences. As a therapist, I understand the importance of being with other people facing similar challenges.
1: Getting Started
To start the process, simply fill out the brief anonymous questionnaire to let us know the disease you are battling and the challenges your’re facing. Once we review your questionnaire you’ll receive an email from Life Branches and can decide on which group you’d like to join.
2: Choosing a Group
Choose from a variety of highly-interactive, small support groups. There are different groups for patients, caregivers, and family members. Through various techniques, exercises, and my expertise, you can begin your path toward emotional health.
3: Sign Up for a Group
Groups are held everyday at various times. Each group is 6 weeks with different topics to choose from. Groups are conducted via webcam so you can join from anywhere. All you need is a computer (or any mobile device) and an internet connection.