Our 14-year-old chef at work. She's passionate about baking.

Homeschooling or unschooling?

By | Featured, Healing, Philippines | No Comments

Today, Star and I attended an orientation for homeschooling. After six months of “unschooling,” she is determined now more than ever not to go back to regular school.

The past six months have not really been that easy. Home-based study, whether through a structured curriculum or a free-willing one, like what we’re doing, needs focus, time and discipline. I like the idea of homeschooling. After all, the Bible tells us that parents should train their children the way they should go so that when they grow old, they will not depart from it. But it is easier said than done.

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barry haarde

4 Ways To Become A Hemophilia Advocate

By | Bleeding Disorders, Blood Brothers, Haplos, Hemophilia, Laurie Kelley, Philippines, Save One Life | No Comments

Here are 4 practical ways to be a hemophilia advocate:

Talk about hemophilia. In your school. In your blog. In your FB wall. In your tweets. Wherever your sphere of influence may be, talk about hemophilia. By doing so, you raise awareness on this still largely unknown disorder.

Volunteer. Whether you have hemophilia or you don’t, if you have t a heart to reach out to the hemophilia community, volunteer your services. You can organize psycho-social activities for the youth group, or a camp for the children or you can assist in the general meetings. Whatever way you think you can help, let your local hemophilia community know that you are willing and available to help.

Visit a sick person with hemophilia. Every now and then, a “blood brother or sister” gets sick. Visit him/her whether in the hospital or in his/her home. That someone will be grateful to know you care.

Be active in your local hemophilia group. While being “connected” in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is good, nothing beats being connected in flesh. So go, attend meetings of your local hemophilia community.

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Star (right) with her Ate Sofie.

Of Star and advocating for people with hemophilia

By | Bleeding Disorders, Featured, Hemophilia, Philippines, Star | 3 Comments

We’re back in the comforts of our home now. Star was discharged yesterday afternoon after being transfused with 14 bags of packed red blood cells and cryo-precipate.

Everything’s back to normal. Star woke up early today and made “dibs” (their term now for laying first claim on something) on the computer. Over breakfast she declared she would go to church early to serve in Sunday school. She’s a volunteer of the toddlers’ class and loves to “fan-girl” over cute little babies.

This girl continuously amazes me. One day, she passes out. The next, she doesn’t look any inch unwell at all. She is a carefree young lady who loves life and never lets anything get in the way. I guess it’s also her way of trying to defy a life-long disorder.

It’s never easy to balance between giving your child the most normal life possible and at the same time, facing the realities that her “normal” will never be the same as the normal-normal of people without disorders.

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Star’s healing journey continues

By | Featured, Healing, Hemophilia, Philippines, Star, von Willebrand Disease | No Comments

The downside of growing up with bleeding episodes is that it becomes your “normal” and you no longer distinguish what is suppose to be the “real” normal. I guess that is true with Star, as is with many others like her.

I have been like that too, believing that “normal” varies from person to person. My “normal” is having very heavy menses on the first three days that at times, I cannot go out of the house for fear of “flooding” the streets. Of course, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s too heavy that it’s too risky to go out.

Star and I always “quarrel” about keeping track of her menses. I insist that she crosses out the calendar the day it starts. This will make it easier for me to monitor her. As our rule of thumb, we’re suppose to infuse after a week of heavy menses. But she almost always forgets.

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2012-03-19 17.18.11

My can-do-it hemo girl

By | Bleeding Disorders, Featured, Hemophilia, Philippines, von Willebrand Disease | No Comments

Don’t let anyone tell you what you cannot do. You can do it if you will. That is what I always tell my kids – including my now 13-year-old daughter Star, who was diagnosed with von Willebrand Disease (vWD) six years ago. VWD belongs to the group of bleeding disorders more known as hemophilia, where the person’s blood lacks the ability of clot.

Star is supposed to be a moderate “bleeder” but ever since she started having her monthly periods, I have second thoughts on the meaning of “moderate.” ….

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