Wellness for Women (W2) is a bi-annual weekend conference organized by Hemophilia Ontario. Created and designed by women for women, the goal is to engage with ladies across Ontario who are affected by inherited bleeding disorders. This year, the overarching theme was ‘Your health, your voice!’
The conference offered a myriad of speakers, panels, discussions, and social events. The welcoming environment provided an opportunity for women affected by an inherited bleeding disorder to learn, question, share, and support one another.
Dr. Paula James was one of the conference speakers and she presented her Let’s Talk Period initiative to the women in attendance. She spoke about her current research on hemophilia carriers and the correlation between bleeding disorders and angiodysplasia, small vascular malformations in the gut.
The event continued with a panel discussion in which women were encouraged to share their personal experiences, such as raising a child with bleeding disorders and being affected by hemophilia or Von Willebrand Disease.
It was empowering to listen to each individual’s account and to see the support amongst this community of women.
Yvette Perrault, co-founder of the Aids Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO) who is also a committed counsellor and community organizer, spoke on the topic of why your resilience matters, connecting to her experiences as a caregiver to families and communities.
After breaking for lunch, we divided into two groups. One group listened to Heather Perkins (Hemophilia Nurse Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) speak about navigating the ER while the second group listened to Lisa Thibeault (Hemophilia Nurse Coordinator at the Kingston Health Sciences Center) and an individual affected by an inherited bleeding disorder as they engaged individuals in a #periodpower talk.
That evening, participants chose between a tour of the Kingston Penitentiary and a Paint Night event at 4Cats studio – a great way for the women to get to know one another in an informal setting.
Dr. Mary Anne Jamieson spoke on the final day of the conference. Her topic of discussion was How I Can Help and How Can I Help. Dr. Jamieson focused her talk on the medical and surgical management of women with bleeding disorders in all age groups.
Hemophilia Ontario wrapped up the weekend by presenting their peer support opportunities, upcoming programs, and awards presentation. As the only conference in Ontario for women with inherited bleeding disorders, the weekend offered an extremely informative and supportive environment that engaged and empowered all who attended!
To learn more about effective treatments or to continue the conversation, please get in touch with us by writing to us at the bottom of our website homepage. Join our communities on Facebook and Instagram to get regular information about bleeding disorders and help other women be empowered by this knowledge.