Can you imagine what it’s like missing school days because you have bled out in the classroom and despite having a wonderful best friend who lent you her coat to cover up, everybody noticed. But you don’t bleed out when you have haemophilia or von Willebrand’s, do you? It’s a myth about fountains of blood spurting and people losing blood from cuts.
No you’re right, its not really a thing – unless you’re a woman with a bleeding disorder that is, and then simple everyday life can mean that you go prepared with a kit bag of sanitary products ‘just in case’.
Now, this is supposed to be a cheerful Christmas appeal to help raise money to support our work, but the reality of what #OurCommunity goes through, especially women, was felt to be too important to skip over. Women’s bleeding disorders in particular can have a huge impact mentally, physically and financially. Yet many people still don’t know that women can be affected by bleeding disorders. Recent figures from the UKHCDO suggest that actually there are more women now in the UK with a genetic bleeding disorder than men.
Let’s get Talking Red
Several years ago we re-established our women’s project as ‘Talking Red’ to get everyone – men and women – to talk about women’s bleeding to empower women, share knowledge and dispel myths.
Through Talking Red we have started to reach and support women who never knew they had a bleeding disorder. They always thought something was wrong, from odd bruising, to very heavy periods, to extended bleeding after dentist’s visits.
Gentlemen/ladies, if you made it this far we thank you – the women in our lives and our community are precious to us, just as you all are.
Our wives, mums, girlfriends, partners, bosses, aunties, daughters – they are there when we need them. They may be a carrier, have mild haemophilia or type 3 VWD, but they go through similar issues if not worse than the guys do, and so Talking Red is getting a reboot.
Next year, to coincide with International Women’s Day, our Talking Red awareness week takes place from 8 March 2020, finishing with our one-day free conference on 14 March 2020 in York which is open to all women affected by a bleeding disorder. It’s time for us to talk more about the realities of life for many of our community, and so it’s time to talk about period poverty as well.
It’s a big issue for women like Macey, 18, who live with a bleeding disorder, but live on a fixed income. She dropped out of doing her A levels, and lives in fear of not having enough money to pay for tampons each month. Click here to read her story…
Can you help?
Please help us to raise awareness about women’s bleeding disorders – this Christmas could you make a small (or big) donation to our Christmas Talking Red appeal? Together we can improve the quality of women’s lives through promoting a better understanding of bleeding disorders and end the stigma of discussing women’s bleeding disorders.