Author Archives: Joe MacDonald

That Time Hemophilia Came for Thanksgiving

Some years ago, when my youngest son, “MacDonald the Younger,” was about 7, he had an internal bleed into his right knee just before Thanksgiving. I was scheduled to lead a “Thanks Living” service that Tuesday, but we quickly realized we would be celebrating the holiday in a hospital…

An Old Injury, a New Pain

I sit waiting for my youngest son to complete an MRI of his right ankle. He has been overwhelmed with pain from constant breakthrough bleeding episodes. For a while, recombinant factor VIII was working to treat his hemophilia and we were euphoric, but we soon learned that internal…

Remembering Special Events That Brought Us Joy

This week, we celebrate Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Nearly 600 hot air balloons fly overhead while we stand in the grass, looking up at the beautiful sight. I cannot help but think back to when my youngest son was 8 years old and unable to walk. We…

Finding Hope in the Worst of Circumstances

No one likes to feel out of control of their body, but those of us affected by chronic illness know that when the disease rears its ugly head, we may struggle to find a sense of power. As the father of two sons with hemophilia, I understand how the storms…

An Eventful Night Reminds Me of What’s Most Important

The events of last weekend proved chaotic and unexpected. On our way to see a movie, my family was involved in an automobile accident that left my vehicle inoperable. The person who caused the collision sped away, leaving us alone and frightened. I called 911, and a fire truck, ambulance,…

Finding Meaning in the Sacredness of Life

I am a pastor and a parent of two sons with hemophilia, a rare, genetic bleeding disorder that occurs in about one in 5,000 male births. My youngest son has a high-titer inhibitor, which means his immune system has developed antibodies to factor replacement. He’s also had an allergic…