My local hemophilia organization just held its annual Christmas party. During these celebrations, we are reminded that we belong to a community that empowers, cares, and provides us with support and service.
Christmas is a time for giving, showing gratitude, and spreading love. During our Christmas party, it was heartwarming to see an entire community share smiles and laughter. To an extent, it somehow lifts the burden of having a disorder. Hemophilia may even be a blessing that allows us to be part of this loving community.
Sharing stories among my peers in HAPLOS, sometimes it’s hard to break a smile. We often gather to discuss matters at hand for the organization. Sometimes, we just want to meet up for a quick chat or bonding session. Too commonly, I hear the phrase, “I have another bleed. Sorry.” It’s quite difficult to hear my brethren share this, especially because I don’t experience that many bleeds. It surprises me how they can go on like that and still have a smile on their faces.
Being able to see these smiles is what makes celebrations like the annual Christmas party worthwhile. I may not always be active in our organization, but I aspire to be. It lightens the spirit so much to see passionate individuals and fellow hemophiliacs make us all feel loved.
It’s also great for caregivers and hemophiliacs to spend the day being silly to make the community laugh and cheer. I vividly recall our senior hemophiliacs hilariously caroling “Feliz Navidad” like children while going door-to-door to ask for some spare change. Even with their more advanced age and so-called “maturity,” they still have the heart to be child-like at times and to not take their illness too seriously.
It’s important to remember that this day isn’t just for hemophiliacs. Caregivers, doctors, and parents also are vital members of the community. They are the reasons we are lively and healthy every day. They take care of us and show us their patience so that we may have more fulfilling and happier lives.
During the celebration, many mothers and caregivers had the confidence to show off their dancing skills, which made some of their kids blush. I’m pretty sure, though, that even if the kids are embarrassed, the community is cheering them on. I clearly remember one of the parents say that some of these moms have great moves. These hemophiliac kids better be proud!
It has been a great year for HAPLOS, and it’s great to see the organization celebrate our blessings. All in all, the event was a success. Hemophiliacs made more friends with fellow hemophiliacs. We bonded, shared insights, and expressed our appreciation for one another. It may sound cheesy, but I believe that’s what being in a community is all about. It’s about having a group willing to spend their time to make your life a bit better every day.
What’s most important for me is to see my fellow hemophiliacs take a break from being hemophiliacs. It’s great to let loose, laugh, and cheer for one another and simply enjoy each others’ company. I hope that for my brothers in HAPLOS, celebrations like these may serve as reminders that having hemophilia, or any other illness for that matter, isn’t cause for a lack of appreciation for life. It’s OK to take a break and chuckle once in a while. It’s great to remember that there are others out there who may be experiencing the same things we are.
At the end of every HAPLOS celebration, we always sing the song, “If We Hold On Together.” It’s truly a wonder to see such a large group of people break into song, hold each others’ hands, and be reminded that there are people out there, like you, who are there to support and share their love. We sing this song to remind us that life is always worth living, and hope is always right around the corner, so that we believe there will always be better tomorrows in our hemophilia community.
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