Communication plays a very significant role in changing paradigms, especially in this digital age. In this speech, which I delivered at the Silliman University College of Mass Communication, I shared how I used my background in the field of communication to advocate for people with bleeding disorders.
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.
On the verge of an incredible feat, Bob Leahy talks to HIV, HepC and hemophilia long-term survivor Barry Haarde from Houston, Texas, who is about to ride his bike 3,667 miles coast to coast across North America.
Bob Leahy: Hello Barry, It’s a pleasure to talk to you. PositiveLite.com readers will recall we featured your story here and now you have something new to talk about. You’re about to start cycling across North America, from west to east, right? I want to talk about that in a minute, and I’m excited your tour includes a little piece of Canada, but first I want to delve in to your story, if that’s OK with you. Now your story has similarities with Vaughn Ripley’s, whom we interviewed a few weeks back. You know Vaughn right? He sounds like a great guy.
Barry: I first learned about Vaughn when I ran across his book, Survivor, on Amazon. We met for the first time last year and have done some cycling together. He and I both “came out” about the same time and our stories are very similar. He wants to ride across America too, and he may be the only guy I know from the generation of hemophiliacs that contracted HIV that is in shape to do it.
About the author: Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on LiveJournal.com where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s HIVStigma.com campaign, along with PositiveLite.com publisher Brian Finch. He joined PositiveLite.Com at its inception in 2009 and became it’s Editor a year later.
Barry Haarde, of The Woodlands, will be riding 3,700 miles from June 18 to Aug. 6 to raise funds for Save One Life, an organization that helps developing countries which struggle to battle hemophilia. Haarde was born with hemophilia and contracted HIV as a result of blood transfusions at age 13.