Don Smith’s parents were caught completely off guard when he was diagnosed with hemophilia A, severe factor VIII deficiency. Growing up without a family history of bleeding disorders, Don and his family “found themselves in the deep end of a pool of mystery!”

His parents showed him by example how important staying up to date and informed on his bleeding disorder is for a good quality of life. Don says that “Their tenacity to learn and incorporate my disorder into daily life has given me a tremendous amount of compassion and desire to help families in similar situations.”

Don has been involved with the Virginia Hemophilia Foundation (VHF) for years, and credits the chapter with helping foster a sense of shared community, even as new therapies emerge: “A cure is the ‘holy grail,’ and I think we’ll get there. However, it will come in a way that shrinks the bleeding disorder community one-disease-at-a-time. So, as the face of the community changes, my hope is that those remaining continue to support and love each other as we always have! Our shared experiences make the entire community strong.”

We are entering a new era in care for hemophilia and bleeding disorders, but we have a long way to go before bleeding disorders are cured. March is Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month and YOU can help the VHF community stay strong.

As we look back on the past 45 years, we are thankful for what you and our community made possible. Without your support over the years, we wouldn’t be where we are today. This Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month we are hoping to raise $5,000 to help us continue to grow. Every single dollar raised through the campaign stays local and goes directly back to supporting our amazing VHF community. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. No gift is too small. Please consider making a gift today, go here to donate.