Can you imagine what its 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 dont bleed out when you have haemophilia or von Willebrands, do you? Its a myth about fountains of blood spurting and people losing blood from cuts.
No youre right, its not really a thing unless youre 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. Womens bleeding disorders in particular can have a huge impact mentally, physically and financially. Yet many people still dont 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, then men.
Lets get Talking Red
Several years ago, we re-established our womens project as Talking Red to get everyone men and women to talk about womens 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 dentists visits.
Gentleman, if you made it this far, we thank you the ladies 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 Womens Day, our Talking Red awareness week takes place from 8 March 2020, finishing with our one-day free conference on 14 March in York which is open to all women affected by a bleeding disorder. Its time for us to talk more about the realities of life for many of our community, and in that respect its time to talk about period poverty as well.
Its 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.
Can you help?
Please help us to raise awareness about womens bleeding disorders this Christmas could you make a small (or big) donation to our Christmas Talking Red appeal? Together with you we can improve the quality of womens lives through promoting a better understanding of bleeding disorders and bring to an end the stigma of discussing womens bleeding disorders.