The family of George King reflect on their longtime involvement with the foundation, and how their personal connection to the blood/bleeding disorders community has inspired their work.
Kelly Wornall, Granddaughter of George King
"I have known about the NHF my entire life. My grandfather was George King, with our company, and he was a two-term president in the seventies. The NHF was just always part of our vocabulary. We always knew the National Hemophilia Foundation."
A Lasting Legacy
Kathryn Blasco, Daughter of George King
"From where it started in Salem, New Hampshire, to where we are now, I would say that George King would not believe the strides the company has made in all of these years."
In the mid 1950s, George J. King was very active in civic affairs and was asked to serve on the local Hemophilia Foundation board in Rochester, New York.
He was eventually appointed president of the National Hemophilia Foundation.
Inspired for the need for coagulation factor deficient plasmas, he opened George King Bio-Medical, Inc. in Salem, New Hampshire.
The Company moved to Overland Park, Kansas in 1978, where it has remained ever since.
"We've been a part of many new improvements in the world of bleeding disorders, and it's exciting to know that we've had a hand in it, our little company."
Katie Wilkes, Granddaughter of George King
"It's been, not to coin a phrase, 'part of my blood' since I can remember growing up, you know, hearing about it again from my grandfather and then my mother, and then working a part of it. It gives us even a more vested interest. So we are gonna really work even harder than we would if we were just individuals because I feel like we have that extra invested interest."
A Personal Connection
"The age of seven, I had my tonsils and adenoids removed. And I almost bled to death because it did not clot where the adenoids had been removed. It was very scary for me as a child, but at the time, none of us knew that that had anything to do with the bleeding disorder. And then my brother with his nose bleeds, my mother had issues, and it all seemed to come from that side of our family. When we saw this happening with Ryan, it made it kind of easy for us to see easier than some of the doctors."
"My son, Ryan, he's now 20 years old. He was diagnosed a little late in life at 12 years old. He was the kid that always got bruises very easily, cut all the time and would bleed for days, and nose bleeds. And I just started thinking something wasn't right and I took him in to the doctor. I made him do tests and it came back that Ryan has an untyped Von Willebrand's disease. But we are very thankful that he has a treatment that works."
Ryan Wornall, Great-grandson of George King
"I honestly think it's a huge coincidence that her grandpa got into the business and her great-grandson ends up having a bleeding disorder."
"To me, it's a disease like any other disease that a person would have. And it needs to be treated; it can be debilitating if not treated properly. But if you stay on top of it, and treat it properly, you're going to have a very good life."
History, Hope, and Progress
"I remember when my father got involved on the local level in Rochester, New York with the Rochester Hemophilia Foundation, he could see through his involvement there that there was a need for more help for hemophiliacs. And that is how the birth of George King Bio-Medical came about."
Edward Blasco, Son-in-law of George King
"We actually hired a couple of the hemophiliacs from the NHF to come and work in the company. One of our dear, dear friends and donors and employees, Mr. Sam Rulo, at that time, was very important to us."
"By having plasma from a hemophiliac that would reproduce in them in a very quick amount of time, and not harm them, we were able to find help for their treatment later on. It all kind of worked off each other and it turned into a very, very good thing for all concerned."
"You know, when I was growing up, you always heard hemophiliacs, couldn't do a lot. And they had to be careful because they'd get bleeds in their joints. And now with the progress of the pharma that's available and the treatments available for the folks in the bleeding disorder community, it blows my mind that they're able to do these things."
"I think 75 years, I think that there's been so much more research done. And I attribute so much of that to the NHF and really pushing for more research and better treatment for people with bleeding disorders."
Thank you to the family of George King for reflecting on the legacy your family has left on the blood and bleeding disorders community.