Category Archives: Awareness

Visit to the Rare Books Collection at St Andrews

On February 5, a few of us visited the University of St Andrews’ Rare Book Collection to see how women’s issues are portrayed in historical texts. Thinking ahead to the Women’s Booth at Congress in May, a lot of attention and focus will be on the present and the future, so the purpose of this visit was to encapsulate the past with the present and future,

providing one holistic overview.

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The University of St Andrews is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world. Founded in 1413, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to pore over books from as far back as the 1500s.

In doing so, we were able to see how women’s issues were portrayed in historical texts, which highlighted how far medicine and technology has advanced since then, leaving us optimistic about the progression of modern medicine.

We all thought the visit was worthwhile and we share our thoughts on the visit below.

 

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The incredible level of detail. Note that the veins look like branches – Inspiration for the centrepiece for the Quilt Project.

Joan: Joan was intrigued with the sharp detail of the drawings. MRI scanners and the like are recent inventions that provide us with images of the interior of the human body. Historically, any research on the human body was done post mortem and an artist would illustrate the findings.

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Susan was interested in the forceps illustration.

Susan: I was interested in the lift the flap illustration in the text book dated 1830. Basically, the illustration showed how to use forceps.  I had been very sick for 2 days before my son was born early at 38 weeks. My GP had the forceps ready as he thought I was too weak to deliver the baby alone. I had a great fear of anything like that and luckily my son was born without them. 4 months later he was diagnosed with severe haemophilia A, and I was diagnosed at the same time as having low factor levels.  Lucky for us both! Later, my GP remarked at how relieved he was about not damaging my son with using the forceps.  I added for me too – a reminder that childbirth is risky too for carrier mother.

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Alex R was impressed with the printing

Alex R: Alex was really intrigued with how the illustrations were printed and was cleverly able to distinguish the difference between the laborious manual printing process of the 1500s to the machine printing of the 1800s.

 

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Alex W: The book that stood out the most to me was a book from the 1500s that had illustrations of babies (with a full set of hair!) in the womb. There was one image in particular, of twins, that resonated with me because I know how complicated a multiple birth pregnancy can be. My mother gave birth to triplets, and without modern medicine, would most likely not have survived. I felt a bit sombre thinking about the risk that pregnancy carries but grateful for the advances in medicine.

We came away from the visit with insight into how women’s issues were portrayed in historical texts, and with a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of how the issues of the past, present and future are all interlinked.

Andy Gunn featured in media for new album, “Too Many Guitars to Give Up Now.”

Andy GunnLong time contaminated blood campaigner and Haemophilia Scotland member, Andy Gunn, has been in the media recently chatting about his life and journey and to promote his new album, “Too Many Guitars to Give Up Now.”

He featured on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 2:

 

BBC Radio 2 interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09q3rxl

Following the release of the music video for “Warm Heart Blue,” The Telegraph wrote a lovely review: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/what-to-listen-to/andy-gunn-performs-warm-heart-blue-music-session/

Support Andy by purchasing his music or by seeing him live at one of the events below:

10/02/18  Blue Lamp, ABERDEEN
16/02/18  Stramash, EDINBURGH
17/02/18  Stereo, GLASGOW
23/02/18  Eden Court, INVERNESS
24/02/18  MacPhail Centre, ULLAPOOL
08/03/18  The Cluny, NEWCASTLE
09/03/18  The Whiskey Jar, MANCHESTER
10/03/18  The Magnet, LIVERPOOL
11/03/18  Half Moon Putney, LONDON
17/03/18  Smokestack, LEEDS
18/03/18  The Maze, NOTTINGHAM

BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW

Women’s Group Afternoon Tea in Glasgow

Thank you to those who joined us on Saturday for afternoon tea at the Carlton George Hotel in Glasgow. It was a brilliant opportunity to have a good catch up, talk about our panels for the Quilt Project, chat about the Women’s Booth, all over some mouth-watering snacks and litres of tea.

We were presented with some sandwiches, scones and an assortment of very sweet desserts which all went down a treat!

The atmosphere was abounding in positivity and it was immensely encouraging and heartening to hear how everyone’s panels were coming along for the Quilt Project and to see how excited everyone is for the Women’s Booth.

Whilst at the afternoon tea, it was announced that the Glasgow Centre is going to donate £1,000 to the Women’s Booth at Congress. We are blown away by the kindness and generosity of the Glasgow Centre and are hugely thankful and appreciative of their support. This is a significant year with Congress coming to Glasgow and this donation will make a substantial difference. Thank you, Glasgow Centre!

Panels coming together for the Quilt Project

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Ideas were bountiful yesterday at the sewing session in Glasgow and much progress was made on our panels.

Our honorary President, Susan Warren, brought along some beautiful fabric from Malawi which will make up part of the backing of the finished quilt, as well as some of the leaves that will go on the tree centrepiece. This fabric symbolises the strength of the partnership between Haemophilia Scotland and our friends in Malawi and will be a nice addition to the quilt.

So far, we’ve received panels from the USA, India, England and Scotland and look forward to receiving more in time for the January 31 deadline. When you’ve finished your panel, please send it to our office:

Haemophilia Scotland
Fourth Floor, Hayweight House
23 Lauriston Street
Edinburgh EH3 9DQ

We’re hoping to put together a book that would accompany the quilt which would give a bit more information about each of the panels. Would you please include a photo of yourself and a paragraph about you and what your panel represents and means to you.  Feel free to include this with your panel when you send it in, or you could separately send it to alex@haemophilia.scot.

We are very excited to see your panels and what the end result of this international collaborative effort will look like!

The sky’s the limit!

On January 6, 2018, Chris Bombardier proved that “ain’t no mountain high enough” for people affected by a bleeding disorder, having scaled Mt Vinson in Antarctica. It was the final mountain on his ambitious quest to climb the highest mountain on every continent of the world.

Chris became the first person with haemophilia to summit Mt Vinson in Antarctica and thus joined a group of just over 400 people who have accomplished the “7 Summits”.

Chris has smashed the stereotype that his condition has limited his lifestyle. Instead, he’s used it to show that he can lead a full, adventurous life. He’s a massive inspiration and we reckon Chris should try knock off the tallest mountain in the UK: Ben Nevis, right here in Scotland!

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Thinking of our international friends on St Andrew’s Day

Russian Visit

Richard Lyle MSP and the then First Minister, Alex Salmond, meet the Russians delegation at the Scottish Parliament during their stay in Scotland. Also featured are Haemophilia Scotland Chairman Bill Wright and our Honorary President, Susan Warren, who organised the Russian group’s visit and was our Vice-Chair at the time. 

St Andrew isn’t just the patron state of Scotland, he is also the patron saint of Barbados, Romania, Russia, and the Ukraine.

So today seems like a good moment to look back to 2013 when Haemophilia Scotland played host to a group of about a dozen young Russian men with bleeding disorders.

They were successful finalists in a competition where the prize was a two-week visit to the UK. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity enabled about many of them to travel abroad for the first time.

They spent time in London and Scotland, meeting other people affected by bleeding disorders and enjoying new experiences. While in Scotland they visited the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, where they met First Minister Alex Salmond (pictured above). In Inverness they took part in a traditional ceilidh. Susan Warren looked after the group throughout their time in the UK and made them very welcome.

We were a relatively new charity at the time but have maintained our commitment to playing our part in the international family of bleeding disorders charities.  That is one of the reasons we are so excited to have the WFH Congress coming to Glasgow in May next year and are delighted that our Women’s Group will be hosting the Women’s Booth at the conference.  We are particularly proud of our recent Malawi Diagnosis Project with our friends in the Society of Allied Bleeding Disorders in Malawi too.

If you’d like to know more about how bleeding disorders are experienced in other countries, these are the patient organisations in those who share Scotland’s national saint.

 

Guest blog: Darren Ford on his fundraiser skydive for Haemophilia Scotland

Darren Ford is the Facilities Co-ordinator at our Edinburgh office and raised just over £500 for a fundraiser skydive for Haemophilia Scotland. Contact Glenda at the office if you wish to do your own fundraiser on behalf of Haemophilia Scotland.

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Darren Ford , feeling relieved, with his tandem instructor following his brave leap from the plane.

After speaking with some of the lovely hard working staff at Haemophilia Scotland, I signed myself up for Skydive to raise some funds to support the great work they do. Now I should probably mention at this point I have a fear of heights so perhaps not the smartest move I’ve made.

The whole process was really easy, made more so because Haemophilia Scotland team were so helpful, along with the staff running St Andrews Skydive. It was intended to be a Santa Skydive but due to bad weather along with my luck we had to reschedule a few times.

We managed to finally get the jump completed on the 27th August 2017. I can honestly say it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and its all for a good cause! It’s no where near as bad as I thought it would be and it was highly exhilarating. I managed to raise over £500, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that donated. I hope you enjoy the video!

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