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A Sea of Blue

On Saturday, September 26, everywhere you looked at the Ocean Creek Plantation and Conference Center which hosted our 2nd annual statewide family camp for members of Hemophilia of South Carolina, the HSC Family Camp blue t-shirts were prevalent. Fifty-four families were represented, from the very young to the elderly, from all over the state. The coastal location helps us serve our members in the Lowcountry and we can admit, those in the Upstate and Mid-State have no problem enjoying a free weekend conference at the beach. Participants enjoyed meeting others with bleeding disorders, a common mission for the weekend, sharing experiences, providing support and receiving education.

The weekend began on Friday evening with a Mexican Fiesta meal and Families on Stage” with the fun and talented folks from Camp Academy, developed in partnership with Beyond Recreation and sponsored by Biogen. With plate spinning and multiple tricks and talents, the evening ended with a talent show for families to show off what they had learned while working together. It was a great event to start off the family atmosphere mission of the weekend.

Saturday began early with a breakfast buffet, sponsored by Baxalta and educational classes divided by age. An Inalex Communication adult workshop, “Your Miracle, Your Life” sponsored by Baxalta International Inc., provided all adults with a day of dancing with adversity and discovering new and exciting chapters in their lives.

Our families with tots had fun mixing play-doh while learning the components of their blood from the “Karing for Kids” Program provided by Accredo, while parents received educational sessions on “Bleeding Disorders Basics”- What you need to know and “When to Freak Out or Calmly Pick up the Phone” provided by Sue Geraghty, MSN, BSN.

Families with Kids ages 6-12 years enjoyed group activities including painting on canvases, treasure boxes and artwork; pictures are currently being made into gift cards for the Chapter and its members. Education on “Expecting the Unexpected” and Bullying Online and Offline” was provided for parents by Baxalta and Mrs. Nancy Roy, MSN, FNP.

And for the teens and their parents, the morning session provided by Pfizer and Linda Pollhammer, BSN, RN included a session on Constructive Conversations.” A group activity with Lisa Bordelon, HSC President, and her daughter Ashley brought about a fun group activity for all out by the beach with “Facts Feud.” We were delighted to have with us Sonji Wilkes, Program Manager, HFA as she facilitated an active afternoon session- High Fives and Do Overs: “Been There, Done That”, led by our youth and young adults. Thanks to Ashley Bordelon, Corbin Martin, Lucas Nash and Bradley Odec for sharing your experiences with the participants and inviting conversations.

Additional group activities for all ages included a sand castle contest divided by regional competition and judged by our teens and a treasure hunt for the younger kids.

After a wonderful buffet dinner and an inspirational presentation by Barry Hardee, “Getting off your Aspirations” sponsored by Bayer HealthCare, all participants had the choice to play a round of group Miniature Golf off site at the Jungle Safari Golf Course or remain at the Water Oaks Conference Center as we danced the night away with the talents of “Elvis” the DJ.

Sunday morning provided a heartfelt presentation from Sonji Wilkes as she shared her story of raising a son with an inhibitor and an “Overview of HFA” addressing the new partnership between HSC and HFA. The Turkey Trot kick-off came next as participants signed up in support of the event coming in November. Adults and kids were also provided a morning infusion clinic session by the HTC’s Robin Jones, MSN, MHA before our Fun and Fitness Day began out on the beach and poolside.

The day’s fitness session brought Tim Grams, an athlete with hemophilia who spoke of overcoming adversity and being active in sports. Lunch and our fitness program was sponsored by CSL Behring.

Our sponsors for the event were on hand throughout the weekend with the exhibit hall hours providing support, services and new treatment options. We thank them for their sponsorships which contributes to allowing us to provide this event free of charge to our members.