One of the things that surprised me most about joining the bleeding disorders community was the sense of family.Â Thomas’s diagnosis was the first in our family history (although we’d later find out I’m a carrier), so the shock of hemophilia was hard to shake, but the open arms we met made it a bit easier to accept.
Every event we attended literally began with hugs.Â It was like seeing long lost family each time.Â This weekend, over 700 people are coming together for the annual HFA Symposium, or what I like to call “The Great Hemophilia Family Reunion.”Â Sure, we’ll attend educational sessions and get product updates from industry sponsors, but I think it’s safe to say that the real draw of the weekend is getting to see our bleeding family from across the country and the opportunity to meet new blood brothers and sisters.Â There will be hugs and laughter, and even a few tears as we remember our family who is no longer with us and look ahead to the bright future that many of our kids now have due to advancements in treatment. It will be just like a family reunion, the only thing missing is Grandma’s famous peach cobbler.
If you are attending Symposium this weekend, try to find me and I’ll give you a great big hug. I can’t wait to see my hemo family because what we lack in clotting powerwe make up for it in the love we have for one another. The importance of being with our community, with people who understand and “get it” is invaluable. Â I have eagerly awaited this meeting so that I can be rejuvenated by my hemo family.Â In keeping with Symposium 2013’s theme, we are a TEAM Â — together we achieve more.Â Our blood unites us.