My design prototype for a jewelry piece commemorating hemophilia just rolled off the manufacturing line. The Hemo Ring will be posted on our Instagram store soon, just in time for March, which is Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month.
As the owner of a small jewelry business, I revel in the creative freedom my job allows me, and I delight in creating pieces that are close to my heart. Not only do I enjoy doing it, but also I can get paid to do it.
I often draw inspiration from things that fascinate me and concepts that resonate with me emotionally. One example is art inspired by mental health. I can relate because I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. My cousin once designed a T-shirt with “Invisible Disability Club” on the front. It spoke to both my husband, Jared, who has hemophilia and a seizure disorder, and me.
For a long time, I contemplated playing around with concept of chronic illness jewelry. I hesitated to follow through, though, because it seemed like a big risk from a business standpoint. As the owner of a small store, I’ve often felt I must think of daring and creative concepts as secondary to profit. Without profits, we wouldn’t survive. So, I made some rough sketches of ideas, but didn’t have the financial ability to produce anything yet. I set the ideas aside for another time.
Because bleeding disorders are rare, I thought only a few people would relate to hemophilia-inspired art. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hemophilia occurs in about 1 out of every 5,000 male births. That’s a very small market for possible supporters of my art!
Still, in the spirit of advocacy, I pushed my art project forward. A large part of advocating for a rare disease like hemophilia involves visibility, which is what I wanted to accomplish with the Hemo Ring.
If I were to stop a random person on the street here in Manila, in the Philippines, and ask them if they knew what hemophilia is, they’d likely say no. Even our close friends used to bombard us with questions about Jared’s condition because they didn’t know anyone else who has hemophilia.
I wear my Hemo Ring with pride and hope that while doing so, I might strike up a conversation with fellow jewelry enthusiasts about hemophilia and bleeding disorders. I hope to use the ring’s beauty and sparkle to educate others about hemophilia and other conditions, and hopefully convince them to care.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.
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