I am filled with anticipation as I look forward to the coming year, where we recognize 70 years of the work of the National Hemophilia Foundation, and celebrate all that we as a community have accomplished.
So, in a way this is not NHF’s anniversary, but one for our community as a whole!
Since the inception of NHF in 1948, we have been a community of people who create change. Starting with our founder, Robert Lee Henry, a young lawyer whose son, Lee, had been born with the then-terrifying diagnosis of hemophilia. Mr. Henry knew he had to affect change. He had to create a better future for his son, Lee. By the time Lee had turned seven in 1948 he had been transfused with his father’s blood seven times. Mr. Henry couldn’t bear the thought of his son, or any other children less well off than he and his family were, growing up in a frightening life of isolation, pain, and inadequate medical attention.
Born out of the love this man had for his son, was the National Hemophilia Foundation. Mr. Henry dreamed of creating this organization to provide support for other families of children with bleeding disorders – a real community who could advocate, educate, and care for themselves with the proper support. He envisioned an organization which would encourage researchers to search for better treatments, and hopefully, the eradication of all bleeding disorders one day.
It has been, and continues to be my greatest privilege to have helped steer this great movement for our community. I feel such pride in all of you—your dedication and your motivation. Without your incredible energy and focus, and willingness to have your voice be heard, we certainly would not have heard from the American Society of Hematology in 2017 of potential cure breakthroughs in the very near future.
Together, we will continue to speak TRUTH TO POWER and wage the healthcare war in Washington, DC. We sincerely hope you will join us for this year’s Washington Days on March 7-9, 2018 and make the voice of this great community heard! NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US!
I invite you to be part of the year-long, 70th anniversary celebration of your NHF, so stay tuned for details. Meanwhile, please start using #MyNHF70 to spread the word and show your pride.
Happy 70th Anniversary!
Val D. Bias