Every year, families and friends join together for the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk — a statewide celebration at the Milwaukee County Zoo to raise funds for the bleeding disorders community. Over the years, Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation (GLHF) has heard from many participants about the unique reasons they join together on this very special day – to help other people who are just like them.
“Being a part of the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk became a high priority when my son Caleb was born and diagnosed with von Willebrands Disease,” said Beverly. “As someone who grew up with this bleeding disorder, my goal became to normalize this part of him to encourage a positive understanding of himself.
Beverly’s reason for participating in the annual walk with her son Caleb, now 10 years old, is just one of many we hear from participants. Whatever the reason, there is a tremendous amount of energy and camaraderie when more than 360 dedicated walkers, including 27 teams, raise more than $63,000 for the bleeding disorders community.
This year, Caleb was the #2 fundraiser in the state, raising more than $3,500! Zach, also 10 years old, was the top fundraiser in the state, raising more than $5,000. GLHF is so proud to watch both of these children, who are so committed and involved in the walk, working to help other people in the bleeding disorder community.
Beverly has always tried to make Caleb’s bleeding disorder a very normal part of his life, and the walk is just one small part of that. “I always wanted to prevent any embarrassment or negative feelings that result in being different and having to explain an uncommon disorder to so many people around him,” said Beverly. I reflected on my experience with von Willebrand Disease and wanted to be sure I provided him with opportunities like the walk to empower him with connections to others who have similar experiences.”
When asked why he participates in the walk, Caleb said, “I get to walk with my friends to raise money for GLHF. I raise money to help others and myself learn more about bleeding disorders. I also can meet others with different bleeding disorders.”
This year’s top fundraising teams include:
- Team Zach
- Cousin’s Crew
- Team Vincent
- The Woltring Boys
- Blood Brothers & Sisters
GLHF thanks each and every walker who participated in this year’s Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk! Every step makes a difference!
Also, a special thank you to this year’s sponsors including: Accredo; Anderson Laboratories, Inc.; Aptevo Therapeutics; CSL Behring; CVS; Genentech; Hemophilia Outreach Center; MacGillis Wiemer, LLC Attorneys at Law; Novo Nordisk, Inc.; Sanofi Genzyme; Takeda; Versiti and Wipfli.