Hanes Family's Story
Many success stories you may hear about from the Nebraska Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation began years ago. After all, the organization has been making a positive impact on the lives of individuals with bleeding disorders and their families for over 25 years. However, the story of the Hanes family and their involvement with the chapter began just over a year ago.
Uniquely well-equipped for a child with mild Hemophilia A, Bobby and Sara Hanes along with their daughters, Charley & Gracyn, welcomed baby Ryker to the family in November 2011. Sara’s father had hemophilia, so she grew up witnessing first-hand the challenges and complexities that exist. As a genetic carrier of the disease, Sara and her husband Bobby also prepared themselves for the possibility that they may one day have a child with hemophilia.
This knowledge and these life experiences are not uncommon, but what is unique is the fact that Sara is also a nurse. “I’ve always had an interest and passion for health and medicine and I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable when it comes to care and treatments for Ryker,” Sara said. “Together with our family and the HTC (Hemophilia Treatment Center), I felt like we had everything that we needed to help Ryker grow and develop,” she added.
Shortly after Ryker was born, Sara noticed a chapter publication that was received in the mail by her parents with an invitation to attend an ice cream social event for the Nebraska Chapter. “My family was never really involved with the chapter, but we went just to see what it was about and if we could learn something new. We took the kids and had the opportunity to meet the chapter staff and some of the other families. We had a great time and made some great connections,” Sara shared. This one leap of faith led to attendance at future social gatherings, education events, participation in fund-raisers, and even volunteering. “I never would have imagined that we would get so much from our involvement with the chapter. The networking, the support and guidance…it has all been a true blessing,” added Sara. Charley and Gracyn have been involved as well—as sibling support, education, and involvement is an essential component of the chapter’s programming.
The Hanes Family’s involvement with the chapter has blossomed over the past year. Sara and Bobby have given back to the chapter as much, if not more than we have given to them. The bleeding disorders community is one of hope, generosity, and support and the Hanes family has demonstrated that even the most well-equipped of community members can gain tremendous benefits from becoming actively involved.