I Graduated from College and I Have Hemophilia, so What Now?

Jared Formalejo avatar

by Jared Formalejo |

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I’ve always had a hard time coping with the fact that it’s quite difficult for me to find a decent source of income due to hemophilia and epilepsy. Although government and private institutions say that they are inclusive of persons with disabilities (PwDs), the reality is that discriminations against PwDs, mental health patients, and even pregnant women still exist.

I graduated from college with a degree in business management, and I find it difficult to apply for positions in any line of work other than a regular corporate job. However, there is one obvious area where I can apply my business knowledge: entrepreneurship. I’m quite risk-averse and I tend to be conservative when it comes to earning and spending money, so entrepreneurship, in a way, frightens me. But it’s a very, very good career choice for a PwD since you are your own boss, you handle your own time, and the sky is truly the limit when it comes to learning and career growth.

Back when I applied for college, I wanted to be a psychiatrist or a psychologist since I’m passionate about serving people and interested in listening to and empathizing with them. However, a stroke of bad luck landed me in business management instead. I want to believe that happened for a reason.

Three years after graduation, I am running an online jewelry store with my partner. I still have my hesitations about spending money to make money in business. But I’m slowly starting to warm up to it. I’m driven by the passion I see in my partner. The thought that I’ll be starting my own family soon has been very motivating. As a person with a disability, I shouldn’t be too picky with my line of work. But at the same time, I need to be wise and know how much my time is worth. I need to find a career with an income that covers my medical expenses.

I still wonder what would have happened if I had been able to pursue the path I’d planned for myself. There’s still a part of me that wants to pursue it. After all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to achieve your dreams. Focusing on entrepreneurship has been helpful since it has allowed me to manage myself and my time more effectively. It’s been quite friendly to my illnesses, and I’m coming around to the idea of being an entrepreneur.

You may not always get what you want in life, but that’s OK. I occasionally tell myself that I wish I had a normal life. Unfortunately, that’s not what life gave me — or you, if you have a chronic illness or disability. What do we do about it then? Consider readjusting your aspirations to fit your current circumstances. I still have an intense love-hate relationship with entrepreneurship. The field has always turned me off since it’s tainted with stories about deception and corruption. I’ve vowed not to be that kind of entrepreneur. I want to use my line of work to serve others.

If you get a glimpse of chats with my customers, you’ll see my wife and me encourage them to open up to us and tell us more about their lives. We do what we can to make their lives a bit better, not just with jewelry, but by letting them know that two complete strangers are happy to listen to them. I can still stand by my mission of service. We took a vow that we would exist to serve for the benefit of others. In this case, for the service of our customers and, more importantly, our family.


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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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