Author Archives: Joe MacDonald

Watch for Curves

Wouldn’t it have been nice to receive an instruction manual when first diagnosed? The doctor might share a blueprint, surefire way of raising a child with a bleeding disorder: “Follow this when this happens, and all will be fine.” Those who manage chronic illnesses know full well that there…

Rest for the Weary

Life in the hospital can overwhelm us and leave us beaten down, as if we fought a war to end all wars. We exist by preparing for the next nurse, technician, or doctor to enter the room to check on our loved one. In our case, “MacDonald the Younger” suffered…

The Unexpected Moments When Hemophilia Strikes

I will never forget the night I was ordained as an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church. We were about three and a half hours away from home at a church in the small town of Clovis, New Mexico. My ordination took place at the close…

I Am Blessed With a Strong Community

When our youngest son, whom we affectionately call “MacDonald the Younger,” was diagnosed with hemophilia, my wife and I didn’t know how to respond. We were in a state of shock and hadn’t thought something like this was possible. Later, we learned that my wife was a hemophilia carrier,…

Developing a Strong Work Ethic With Hemophilia

From early on, we find success by developing a strong work ethic. Some of us come by it naturally, while others learn the value of working hard and doing the best job they can do. I realized that discipline brought great rewards, both musically and academically. When I failed to…

Our Pets Teach Us the Darndest Things

My family loves dogs. My wife and I have never known married life without a beloved pet. They continue to bring us joy, while at the same time imparting valuable life lessons. Our pets teach us to care for something more than ourselves. Our puppies need us as much as…

How to Avoid the Shame and Blame Game

I will never forget the first time the Hemophilia Federation of America asked me to facilitate a discussion group for parents of the newly diagnosed, at the federation’s annual symposium. About 30 parents attended, each with their own issues regarding their children. I sat in my chair and quickly…

My Takeaways From This Year’s Bleeding Disorders Conference

Despite the challenges associated with holding a large conference online, the National Hemophilia Foundation did a fantastic job at this year’s Bleeding Disorders Conference by virtually presenting participants with essential information about treatments and future methods of living with bleeding disorders. Nothing will replace great friends getting together…

A Letter to My Sons

I remember the first time I put my hand in your hand. You seemed to smile out of a sense of familiarity. You knew me in a way that knocked me to my knees. Your tiny hand filled my palm with delicate fingers and fresh new strength. Your touch seemed…