The loved-ones of cancer fighter Elisha Neave are imploring Australians to help keep her legacy, and the legacies of countless others, alive – by crowdfunding an innovative and empowering end-of-life digital platform.
Ms Neave was just 36 years old when she lost her very public battle with cancer, leaving behind a family driven to ensure that her journey and the lessons learnt along the way would stand for something.
Through this tragedy her partner Brendan Hopp and brother Denny Neave created Entrusted, a solution for improving end-of-life experiences.
Three years in the making, Entrusted has now reached the crowdfunding stage and Mr Hopp and Mr Neave are hoping to reach a target of $227,000 by 7 December 2017, allowing them to make the Entrusted platform available to all Australians.
“The current system protects some of what we have, but not who we are or the human connections we’ve made along the way, so we created Entrusted to plug these gaps,” Mr Hopp said.
“Elisha died young so there is a good chance she had sentimental and cash assets online that we’ll never know about, or be able to access, because digital assets aren’t catered for in our Wills,” he said.
This pioneering platform allows people to record their most precious life moments, list digital assets, store vital documents and plan their funeral, in their own space, and in their own time.
Upon placing an Entrusted account into legacy mode, the website will empower loved ones by releasing stored memories and instructions to the members’ nominated beneficiaries.
Like many Australians, Elisha had several superannuation policies; none of which her family knew about.
It was only because Elisha’s battle was so public that a life insurance policy was unearthed by a stranger on the other side of the country – providing her son Jack the security she wished for him.
Mr Hopp said the current experience for loved-ones after losing a friend or family was completely outdated for this modern age where the paper trail is being lost to a digital landscape.
“So much of our lives, our assets and our personal keepsakes are stored online but are mostly invisible or untouchable by our heirs once our life ends,” said Mr Hopp.
“Think about how many memories and photographs are stored in the cloud, how many billions of dollars the nation has stored in PayPal accounts, sports betting accounts and more,”
“The crucial information regarding our life and other insurances, debts and the like are stored in password-protected sites that are increasingly difficult for others to access, even in death,” he said.
Mr Neave said while a platform of this nature in this day and age is inevitable, unlike big corporates, the Entrusted platform promises to reinvest profits in a foundation that will assist those fighting cancer.
“I want Entrusted to be more than just the platform itself, but a social initiative that will help Australia catch up to the rest of the world when it comes to cancer treatment options,” Mr Neave said.
Through the generosity of the community, Elisha was fortunate to be able to seek treatments only available internationally, which added nine precious months to her life.
It is the strong belief of the family that if Elisha had access to these kinds of treatments in Australia, both earlier and more frequently, her prognoses would have been significantly better.
“We were lucky that the public donated with such great compassion, but there are so many other families who can only watch on powerless as overseas treatment is out of reach financially.
“The foundation funded by Entrusted will research international treatments not available in Australia, assess why that’s the case and work to ensure safe, proven options are available for cancer suffers on home soil,” Mr Neave said.
While Elisha’s fight against cancer spanned more than two years, Mr Hopp and the family never stopped to plan for the event that she may die.
“Elisha would have had wishes for her funeral and estate, along with advice for her son and messages to the rest of us, however, the current system fails to provide an easy, approachable way to record and store them,” Mr Hopp said.
“We certainly didn’t want to talk with lawyers and funeral directors at that sensitive time because it all seemed so final, cold and impersonal,”
“Sitting next to Elisha in that hospital room, holding her hand as she transitioned from this world I was struck by what mattered – the people in that room represented the love she left behind,” he said.
Determined to give back to those who support the development of Entrusted, every person who donates will receive a complementary subscription to the service once it is live, with the length of subscription to be determined by the donation value.
Supporting Brendan Hopp and Denny Neave in their Entrusted mission are two additional founders who offer the experience and expertise to bring the Entrusted concept to fruition; Nic Nichols, Creative Director at 40/40 Creative, and John O’Donnell, former Managing Director of everydayhero.com.au.