My second-born son Bobby was born in May 2019, after a short stay in hospital due to other unrelated complications the ‘standard baby heel pricks’ on Bobby’s feet continued to bleed for days & days and at 4 days old he was finally diagnosed with severe Haemophilia Type A.
So that is a little bit about how we came about our initial diagnosis, upon reflection I know we were extremely lucky to find out so early…. not everyone is as fortunate as us. Myself and my husband have no family history of haemophilia at all, I have to be honest I hadn’t even heard of it, so at first, it was a devastating diagnosis.
While researching online to learn more about the condition I read about haemophiliac’s from years past who have suffered terribly, mainly pre prophylaxis. I honestly thought he would need to be wrapped in cotton wool, I imagined he would never be able to play with his older brother Sonny in the garden or even be able to kick a ball around due to risk of injury.
The anxiety of when he would start to crawl and walk was crippling. But our outlook changed after lots of education and support from The Haemophilia Society and Alder Hey hospital. The Haemophilia Society gave us the opportunity to attend a ‘newly diagnosed weekend’ where we met other families in the same position and it gave us the ability to build up a network/community of people affected by bleeding disorders along with valuable education and support that made us realise Bobby WILL lead a normal life, ok no boxing or rugby but he will be able to participate in sport even football if he is lucky. Now he is on his new life-changing Hemlibra medication (god bless the NHS). They made us realise how valuable exercise and building up the muscles is for haemophiliac children
I had planned on doing a half marathon last September to raise money for The Haemophilia Society but when COVID-19 hit everything came to a standstill and it still is. I was conscious now more than ever small charities such as The Haemophilia Society would be experiencing hardship due to a lot of fundraising events having to be cancelled.
Finding myself home alone with both boys and homeschooling my eldest really impacted on my ability to complete any sort of “active challenge” to raise money, so having found a new love of creating portraits (people and pets) I decided I would offer people the chance to enter a prize draw if they donated as a thank you. Having hit our initial target of £500 in the first 24 hours I decided to double the amount of winners and we have gone one to raise over £1000 in 2 weeks. I have been lucky enough to create portraits for a few celebrities including TOWIE & RHOC, the most recent being Newcastle United Andy Carroll & his Fiancée Billi who also went on to donate to our JustGiving cause.
The JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/becky-dutton-geraghty will be running until the beginning of February so it isn’t too late to donate and enter the prize draw to be in with a chance of winning a free portrait.
To check out Becky’s work in more detail you can visit her Instagram pages @peopledigitalprints and @petdigitalprints
If you would like to get involved, see our virtual fundraising page for all the ways you can fundraise from home!