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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Off to the Philippines


It's Monday in the Philippines and I have landed by now. I am visiting the Philippines for 12 days, to a country that is the single largest recipient of our humanitarian donations of factor. Although we have had contact with the Philippines for years, and have provided aid, I have never visited. This trip will give me an in depth tour of the situation that Filipinos with hemophilia live in. Most are poor, many are crippled. There is not enough factor for everyone, reducing the Filipinos to beggars sometimes. Life can be very hard for them. Several of the teens and young men we have tried to help have died this year.

We provide sponsorship for about 20 children and young men with hemophilia through Save One Life, our sponsorship program. I am hoping to meet most of them, and perhaps enroll some more.

Our guide through this eye-opening trip is Father Don Kill, a Columban priest who is also a shrewd organizer and compassionate humanitarian. We met years ago when Father Don discovered a teen living on the streets who couldn't walk. In taking the boy to his mission for teens, he discovered the youth had hemophilia. Father Don has since been on a new mission: to find as many boys as possible undiagnosed with hemophilia, and get them the care they need. We are happy to support his efforts when possible.

This trip will take me into clinics in four cities; hemophilia treatment centers; to meetings with the press; meetings with the patients and the patient group, HAPLOS; and best of all, int the very homes of the poor, so we can document their lives and hopefully find help for them when I return to the US. Please check in again in a few days when I hope to have more of our journey posted!

6 comments :

Cheryl said...

Best wishes on your journey. You are truly an angel on earth!

I'll be interested in finding out if you meet any girls with hemophilia on your trip!
Cheryl D'

Bonnie said...

Is there a scientific reason that the Phillipines has the largest number of hemophiliacs?

Bonnie Genoshe
Colorado Springs, CO

Laurie said...

Hi Bonnie! I write to you from the Philippines. Actually, the Philippines has the same incidence of hemophilia as any other country. I may have thrown you off by saying they are our largest recipient of aid. That just means that of the 45 countries we donate factor to, the Philippines has received 23% of it, more than to any other country. And that's becasue not only do they have tremendous need, but also they request factor more often! Thanks for writing in!

Laurie said...

Hi Cheryl! We definitely have women here with bleeding disorders. Listen to this statistic: these are an estimated 900,000 with VWD in the Philippines. Only 26 have been identified!!! We have lots of work to do here to change these stats. I'll ask about women with bleeding disorders as I travel around. Thanks for writing!

Patrick said...

Laurie,

I wish I could have come along and experienced the Philippines first hand. But, this is the next best thing being able to follow your progress and experiences.

Thank you for your leadership and May God Bless you and Rosa on your journey.

Patrick

yuen said...

hi laurie,
My name is yuen, i am a first time mom. i have a 3 month old son who is just diagnosed to have a severe hemophilia A.
it crush my heart to see that my son need to undergo all these pain of having this disease.

We need help.
We don't know where to get factor 8concentrates that he need.

please we need your help.
yuenregala@yahoo.com

 
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