Josh was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and has worked for non profits most of his life. As a child Josh’s parents, Jennifer and Richard Traulsen were very active in the camping community and spent years working at Camp Honor each summer, bringing Josh along to learn the ropes. Beginning in 2003, Josh spent 3 weeks each summer working with Camp Swift, a program dedicated to bringing underprivileged youth to camp, as a counselor and eventually unit head. Josh graduated Arizona State University with a degree in Non Profit Management and Leadership and a Certificate in Special Events Management and Urban Planning. While at ASU, Josh volunteered as the Volunteer Coordinator for the My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge. For the past year Josh was with the East Valley Jewish Community Center as their Director of Children Youth and Camping but is happy to be a part of the AHA Team as the new Program Director! In his free time, Josh likes to rock climb, hike, bike, play guitar, and cook. He is a certified lifeguard and canoeing, archery, and climbing instructor and is hoping to bring some of his skills to new camp programs. He is looking forward to meeting all the members of our community as he plans events for all of our social programs and prepares for Camp Honor.
Meet Brent Davila, the newest member to join our team at the AHA. Brent Davila grew up as a camper going to Camp HONOR, and was later a counselor for several years. Brent feels lucky enough to be working to help provide other members of our community with the same wonderful opportunities that he has had. At the AHA, Brent will be focusing his energy on our outreach and advocacy programs. Brent’s goal is to facilitate opportunities that would allow members of the bleeding disorder community to advocate for themselves. Few can understand and explain the challenges that those with bleeding disorders and their families face better than the very people living with these challenges every day. This is why Brent believes the Speaker’s Bureau is such a valuable tool. It gives individuals from our community with a vested interest in the well-being of families with bleeding disorders, a chance to let their voice be heard, and a chance to have a say in the matters that are important to us all. Moving into the future, Brent believes it would benefit the community at large to have an actively involved group of individuals that are comfortable with advocating on their own behalf, and on behalf of people with bleeding disorders everywhere. Brent hopes to help make this a reality. Brent believes that our community has shown that we can accomplish incredible things when we all work together. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Speakers Bureau, please contact Brent at the Arizona Hemophilia Association at 602-955-3947
George Dickson Coppock IV was born in Cave Creek, a small town just north of Phoenix, AZ. Most of his younger years were spent on his parents’ 7 acre farm on Cave Creek causing trouble with his 3 younger siblings. In 1986, his father opened a small family operated construction company, "Cave Creek Adobe" where George and his younger brothers would work during the amazing Arizona summers. George’s father believed in providing future generations with an affordable alternative for building an energy efficient home. George attended the local Cave Creek public schools until his 5th grade year, when his mother decided to home school the family. For the next 2 years, schooling was followed by working in the "Adobe Yard" as it was called. Upon completing his 8th grade entrance examination, George enrolled at Foothills Academy, a college prep school in the Cave Creek district. He attended Foothills Academy until his junior year when he switched to Cactus Shadows High School. Graduating in 2001, George looked forward to a career in the family business but wanted to further his education. He enrolled in PVCC a local Community College to pursue a career in engineering but soon found his passion in serving and helping others. In the summer of 2001, George attended Camp HONOR for the first time and it was truly a life changing experience for him. In the years to come, George would bounce around from job to job, from providing turn down service at the Four Seasons, to custom machine fabrication for off road trucks, until finding his home at the Hemophilia Association. George really looks forward to serving the Hemophilia community in the future for many years to come.
Nicole Wheeler Nicole has worked in numerous non-profits including American Cancer Society, Lymphoma Research Foundation and the Wellness Community. Her non-profit experience focuses in donor cultivation and fundraising events such as Walks, Golf Tournaments, Galas, Fashion Shows, Car Shows, and more. A native to Arizona, Nicole has a passion for building relationships with people in our community and raising funds to support those in need. Nicole recently bought her first home! She spends a majority of her spare time remodeling it with her 9-year-old son, Dylan. Nicole and Dylan love do-it-yourself projects and a good challenge! Nicole also enjoys playing kickball in a competitive adult league, hiking and country swing dancing any chance she gets. When she’s not working or spending time on her house, she plans 10, 20 and 30 year high school reunions in the valley, which is typically quite entertaining!Nicole looks forward to utilizing her experience to help the organization grow its current events and hopefully add more that will increase our fundraising opportunities as well as continue to develop relationships within the community!
Hi, I am Joshua Schmidt. I am a Hemophiliac in Phoenix. I want to help you make your life better. Having Hemophilia can be many different things for many people. Some of us don’t have to worry about much because we have good coverage and bleeds are not much of an issue. While some of us are still struggling to get the needs we have met, and sometimes you just can’t do it on your own. Whatever your situation with Hemophilia is, there is a great way to to build the quality of your own life and that is Blood Brotherhood! When I moved to Arizona in 2010, I was in bad shape. My ankles were about to fuse themselves together before the doctor could. My wrists and forearms still need attention that I can’t give them until I get my legs are taken care of. Life was hard and the last thing I wanted was to deal with was more Hemophilia, or anything related to it. I did not want to think about doctor visits, shots, or stretching. I was also very alone. I had my wonderful family to help get me through it all, but they still don’t understand what I really go through. Nobody does but us. Sometimes we want to be left alone because we don’t want others to see us when we are down, yet we want somebody to help us through the pain we are experiencing. Last spring was an eye opening experience for me. I was going out of town and needed some shots. I called to place my order and was told I could not because some laws were changing. I went to instant panic mode.
Throughout this semester, my last semester before earning a bachelor’s degree, I had the incredible opportunity to work as an intern for the Arizona Hemophilia Association. I first began working here in the summer as a Bayer Hemophilia Leadership Development Program intern. When school started and my time with Bayer ended, I got the chance to continue my work and receive college credit as well. This internship has been much different because I moved back to Tucson for school and worked primarily from home. If you have ever worked from home, you know how challenging it can be to stay focused! However, by keeping contact with everyone at the AHA office and traveling to Phoenix for various events, I was able to work on numerous projects to keep busy. This little guy was at my desk every day to help me stay focused! Some of my biggest accomplishments this semester have been successfully organizing a camp program, creating a blog, and putting on two events here in Tucson. At Camp HUG, I was in charge of the family challenge on the last day and it was very fun! I had been planning it out for a few weeks prior to camp and was nervous about getting it to run smoothly, but all of the camp staff helped me out. It turned out to be a lot of fun; we even made a “haunted cave” for the families to go through at the end.Another project I worked on was the Arizona Hemophilia Association blog. If you have not seen it, you can check it out at hemophiliaz.blogspot.org. I learned about how to design a blog and maintain the content on it. It can be difficult to
A Camp HUG reflection by community blogger, Diane Lee What, might you ask, do high-ropes, elephants, and golden eggs have in common? Well, if you were lucky enough to attend this year’s Camp HUG you would understand. Camp HUG (Hemophilia Uniting Generations) is a family camp weekend offered to the bleeding disorder community through the Arizona Hemophilia Association and the Cascade Foundation. It is a chance for families in this special community to come together and participate in family oriented activities designed to improve the quality of time families are able to spend with each other as well as with other families. The camp is a great compliment to the many activities offered for the different groups within our community. Our family had not attended Camp HUG in previous years even though my children had attended the kid’s camp for many years. Each year we made the excuse that we had to work and was unable to get away or we had so many other activities going on and this was not feasible at the time. I figured my kids had enjoyed camp in the summer and wouldn’t feel they missed out. My husband and I felt “too old” to go to camp. Boy! Were we wrong! Having more flexibility with my time this year, I decided to get more involved with the activities sponsored by the Association. We had always attended the Annual Meeting and I had previously attended Washington Days, but this year I committed to being more involved with BleedHers and my son joined the EPIC group for teens. When attending the Women’s Retreat, many of the ladies convinced me that Camp HUG was an event not to be missed. They were
A reflection piece written by Jeff Johnson that we wanted to share:I'd like to approach a subject here that's been present in our community for quite some time and unfortunately isn't always dealt with as openly and honestly as it could be. I'll warn everyone now that this is challenging, both of and for, parents. Not in a negative way but in a healthy, self examining way. Still, one should probably not proceed unless one is prepared for reflection, self examination and even, perhaps, the rejection of deeply held beliefs and feelings.The subject I'd like to discuss is the attitude that having hemophilia makes one less than normal and warrants feelings of guilt or regret in a parent or should be viewed as "bad news" and cause for mourning or distress. Now, I'm pragmatic enough to admit that yes, hemophilia is a whole different level of lame and I'm not demeaning my own condition. Bleeds suck, especially when they prevent an activity or life choice from playing out as we would have preferred. And it is expensive, of course, and time consuming. Yes, it has numerous challenges. But at the same time it is important to maintain perspective. There are countless conditions worse than hemophilia and in the grand scheme of things being born a hemo is far better than being born with MS or cancer or sickle cell anemia or so on. While a challenge, hemophilia isn't any longer a death sentence or even condemnation to a life that is less than normal. Our factor today is amazing, as is our care. Compared to previous generations and the trials they experienced, today hemophilia is barely even a disorder, which is why I often joke
What would you do if your son woke you in the middle of the night crying tears of blood? In my sleepy stupor, I heard him say, “Mama, my eyes burn.” I was used to him waking me with a bloody nose, but I was not prepared for streams of blood running from his eyes down his cheeks and dripping onto my sheets. Within seconds my husband and I were up and fully awake. In my panic, I didn’t know if I should call 911 or a priest. It truly frightened me. Our son, Anthony, had been having numerous nose bleeds and we were early into his diagnosis of Von Willebrand’s Disease. We had not yet started factor infusions and were still green to the whole bleeding disorder community. I was well versed in how to handle bloody noses, but what the heck do I do for bloody eyes? Little Anthony and his big sister I immediately called our doctor and was reassured there was no reason for great alarm. He told me to treat it as a nose bleed. Pinch the nose, lean forward slightly, and close eyes tightly. I guess it is not completely uncommon for blood to back-up into the tear ducts. If you have ever cried hard, you know tears and snot start to run from your nose. The reverse is true as well. If you bleed profusely from the nose, the blood can run “upstream” to come out your tear ducts. It makes for a very frightening scene, but not one for any more concern than a nose bleed. Brothers being goofy Anthony has Type 2m Von Willebrand’s Disease and we now treat his bleeds with Factor VIII. His nose bleeds are under control for the most part and we haven’t had an eye bleed for
Read about Jessica and how she became our wonderful program director. :) Jessica How is it, that the one thing we probably know the most about (ourselves), is often the one that is hardest to explain? I guess I will start with the generic: Hi! My name is Jessica. My last name is Casper—for two more weeks—and then it will be Klass (pronounced like good ol’ Santa’s last name, not like “class”). I am getting married in Cleveland, OH which come to find out, isn’t actually every bride’s dream destination location. Who knew? My soon-to-be husband is named Andy and we live in north Phoenix with our dog, Koko. She is the ruler of all that goes on in our home. If you met her, you would understand. I mean, look at those teeth! On a day off, you can catch me taking photos, hiking, trying a new restaurant, or spending time with family and friends. I have a large family. In fact, my parents divorced and I have half siblings on each side. Ironically, they all get along, and we all love spending time together when we can. How cool is that? I have one of those “back in the day” relationships with the Arizona Hemophilia Association. I mean, remember when there was no “Arizona” in the name? I do. It was twenty-two years ago that my brother, Jeff, was diagnosed with hemophilia. This was back in a time where no one even know what hemophilia was and it took a number of tests and accusations for that matter, to determine what was wrong. I remember the first time my brother bled, not typical skinning of the knees bleeding but much more intense, much