As I was sitting in the lounge at National Airport in DC, I was going through old e-mails. I found one, with the title above, as the subject. It came from an old college friend. The e-mail’s point was an important one. We as people are impatient by our very nature. Change is evolutionary.
American history is full of examples where change was the product of long periods of sustained work. In the bleeding disorders community, we know of a fight in the more recent pass; like the effort to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, (GINA). The first version of this legislation was introduced in Congress in 1995. In 2008, President Bush signed GINA into law. Similarly, The Ricky Ray settlement took nearly a decade to pass Congress and become law from the time it was initially introduced to the time it became law in 1998.
I revisit this history here because I know just how hard this past year has been for this community politically. Budget cuts, service cuts, reduction in access to product, changes to regimen. It would be easy to throw one’s arms up in the air and say “enough already…” Ironically however, it is the very size and scope of this challenge to our community that compels us to engage.
We are the change we need to facilitate. If we don’t seek to change the conditions and circumstances that put this community imperil, we can be assured that this community will remain imperil. No one person is expected to do everything, but everyone is expected to do something. And in acting, know that one’s actions build upon those that came before. After all, “Rosa sat so Martin could march, and Martin marched so Barack could run.”