May 26, 2008

Biking to Istanbul for Hemophilia

Kiss Laszlo lives in Romania. He’s the father of Daniel, who has severe hemophilia A. I’ve been to Romania twice– a beautiful, pastoral country, with rolling mountains and quaint villages. I’ve visited with the hemophilia patients and doctors, and helped out with hemophilia camp in 2006 on the Black Sea. We donate quite a bit of factor to Romania. Only recently has the government begin to buy substantial amounts of factor for its people. A lot of patients, despite the excellent medical care from its wonderful doctors, are crippled. You just have to have factor to keep joints in good shape.

Kiss knows this and knows we need to raise awareness of hemophilia needs. He came up with a brilliant idea– to bike all the way from Romania to Istanbul, where the World Federation of Hemophilia starts its biannual Congress next Sunday. “I decided to do this trip not only for my son, but for the whole hemophilia community. I shall do 1089km in 14 days,” he pledges on his blog, which you can read at

Kiss is blogging along the whole journey! You can read about his exploits right now. “During my trip I shall stop in each important town, no matter if it’s Romanian, Bulgarian or Turkish. There I shall meet the local hemophilia associations and the local media too. Once arrived there in the name of our association I want to get in contact with other similar organizations to build common actions and develop a partner relationship over the medium to long term.”

What a wonderful idea and what devotion! I cannot wait to meet him. I will be off to Istanbul myself on Friday, and will also be blogging about my trip. Please tune in and see what is happening in the world of hemophilia.

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