April 17, 2017 is World Hemophilia Day. This is significant not only for people with hemophilia, but also for those with other bleeding disorders like von Willebrand disease (vWD). If you are unfamiliar with hemophilia, it’s caused by a lack of a blood clotting factor, either Factor VII or VIII. There’s a much longer explanation about it, and if you’d like to learn more, the National Hemophilia Foundation is a great place to start.
Instead, I’d like to examine the benefits of World Hemophilia Day.
- First and foremost, it raises awareness about bleeding disorders, and increased awareness translates into more dollars for research. With more research comes improved treatments
- It gives people an opportunity to connect with others who have the same condition and share their stories
- The day creates a platform for the sharing of information
- It gets people interested in becoming involved in volunteering and helping others
- The day also brings people with bleeding disorders into mainstream society by helping to erase the stigma associated with them
- And it shines a light on clinical trials for new medications
There is an “Awareness” day, week, or month for hundreds of rare diseases, and each one is very important. They allow people with certain health conditions to support a common cause–their health, wellness, and support. They are also important sources of education and fundraising. So on April 17, 2017, World Hemophilia Day, offer your support. The world, in turn, will observe your special day.