Author Archives: Joe MacDonald

No One Is Perfect When Treating a Chronic Illness

Many times, when I look back at how I handled my sons’ hemophilia care, I quickly remember the poor choices I made. I ache over decisions that caused heartache, and allow them to capture my full attention. Too often, I fixate on how one decision affected life choices, often leading…

I Stand Beside My Son as He Battles Hemophilia

When my oldest son was 2 years old, he came up to me with a serious expression and said, “Dad, this monster slapped me right in the face.” I told him I had some monster spray in my room and would ensure that his room no longer contained any strange-looking…

It Takes a Village of Support to Raise My Son

About seven years ago, my youngest son experienced the worst of the worst regarding hemophilia. My boy missed most of his second-grade year — 128 of approximately 180 instructional days — because of continuous breakthrough bleeding episodes followed by extended hospital stays. Unfortunately, we could not get ahead of his…

Finding Pockets of Joy Amid the Commotion of Hemophilia

There are moments when dealing with hemophilia proves overwhelming and we lose ourselves in the fight to overcome the pain of breakthrough bleeding. My youngest son, affectionately called “MacDonald the Younger,” dealt with two target joints, or places where bleeding episodes occur repeatedly, prior to his current treatment. His…

My Boy Learned a Lesson by Playing Baseball

When my youngest son was 4, he wanted to play baseball. My nerves were shaky as I took him to register for the fall season. I hoped he would enjoy playing the sport. When the first game of the season rolled around, my wife and I sat in the bleachers,…

My Son Must Learn That Planning Is Crucial

“MacDonald the Older,” which I call my eldest son, successfully auditioned for the International Performing Arts Institute, a national musical theater symposium. He calls me nearly every night to share the great things he learned in different classes. My heart leaps up and down with joy when I hear…

Reflecting on My Son’s Medical History

I recently accompanied my youngest son to his comprehensive checkup at the Ted R. Montoya Hemophilia Program and Treatment Center. Located in Albuquerque and affiliated with the University of New Mexico hospital system, the center serves as our main treatment facility for hemophilia. “MacDonald the Younger” started seeing the…

How My Sons Conquered the Hemophilia Giant

Last Sunday, I preached a sermon about the Old Testament story of David slaying the giant Goliath. David was young and much shorter than the very tall Goliath. The odds were against David, yet through divine intervention, he did the unthinkable and took Goliath’s life with one stone. His…