No 187 September 2014
Youth News: HFA Youth Leaders Speak Up
Photo right: Hamish and Sam at the MyABDR focus group
I feel that it is important for young people to speak up and have their voices heard at focus groups and other events because the youth bring brand new ideas that are desperately needed.
I believe that growing up with technology and being surrounded by it my whole life gave me insights and ideas the older attendees might not have thought of.
In September of 2008 I was given the opportunity to go on an HFA youth weekend/camp just outside of Adelaide on behalf of HFNSW. At the camp the HFA Youth Committee had their monthly meeting and I was asked if I wanted to join. This was the beginning of my time representing youth with haemophilia.
At the time I was a bit daunted by responsibilities that might come with the role, but I outgrew that. Since then, I have been asked to give a patient perspective of inhibitors and treatment as well as be part of as medical questionnaire panel, which gave me the opportunity to talk to other youth with bleeding disorders and their parents from around the country as well as New Zealand. I also attended the World Hemophilia Congress in Melbourne and answered questions about the HFA Youth Leadership training.
Over the last 6 years I have given voice to my opinions on behalf of young people so that others will want to step up be part of both their State Foundation and the national Foundation. Together we can continue to improve our lifestyle as people with bleeding disorders and have a place to share our experiences and make lasting friendships.
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