Joe MacDonald,  —

Joe is the father of two sons with hemophilia. He and his wife, Cazandra, are active members in the bleeding disorders community and often facilitate workshops both locally and nationally. Joe is a pastor in the United Methodist Church and writes a blog about spirituality and faith. You may follow his blog at www.joekmac.com.

Articles by Joe MacDonald

Sharing Messages of Hope During the Holiday Season

As a pastor, I often greet parishioners at the church door. I want to share meaningful words of assurance, but unfortunately, I must move from one person to the next in a quick, almost rapid-fire progression to avoid holding up the line. In-depth conversations, which I dearly love, must wait…

What Pain Means to Me as a Caregiver

“Pain” is a short, four-letter word, but its meaning is complex for those affected by chronic illness. For example, my youngest son, who lives with severe hemophilia, also known as factor VIII deficiency, once described the feeling of an internal bleed as sharp needles continuously attacking a joint.

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…