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Make a public video apology

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To whom it may concern,

I am the Executive Director of BleedFree, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to changing lives, creating hope and helping children come to terms with their bleeding disorder.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan designated the month of March as Hemophilia Awareness Month to bring awareness and attention to those living with a bleeding disorder.

Imagine the happiness felt by more than 20,000 people last night, March 15, 2015, during the Secrets and Lies episode, "The Sister," when hemophilia was mentioned. Now imagine the disgust when they heard the claim that "hemophilia is a nasty byproduct of incest."

The first medical professional to describe hemophilia was Abulcasis. In the tenth century he described families whose males died of bleeding after only minor traumas. While many other such descriptive and practical references to hemophilia appear throughout historical writings, scientific analysis did not begin until the start of the nineteenth century.

The term "haemophilia" is derived from the term "haemorrhaphilia" which was used in a description of the condition written by Friedrich Hopff in 1828, while he was a student at the University of Zurich. Fifty years before Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, son of Queen Victoria was born with hemophilia.

Anyone who watched the show last night is not going to know the history behind it like some of us do. They are going to hear this statement and assume hemophilia comes from incest. It could have been an opportunity to educate the masses and instead the writer threw the hemophilia community under the bus with his ignorance.

By sharing this misinformation with your viewing audience ABC is helping to promote a negative backlash for the bleeding disorder community as a whole.

One child told his mother this morning how he was scared to go to school today because he was scared of getting picked on. Another child, a twelve-year-old hemophiliac, who, in a little more than two weeks, has raised $2,000 for the Reading, Not Bleeding fundraiser and was recently featured in the Castine (Castine, Maine) Patriot newspaper, stated this morning that he felt all the advocating he has done has been completely undone by this completely unfounded and outrageous lie.

In today's technology age, where everything posted on the internet or seen on TV is taken as fact, kids are not going to take the time to learn history. Instead, they are just going to hear those words and go from there.

Speaking as a hemophiliac who grew up during the 80s, when evert hemophiliac was assumed to have HIV/AIDS, the bleeding disorder community already suffers with many stereotypes on a daily basis.

"Defaming & discriminating against a select group of human beings is unacceptable, and "It's just a TV show" is not a satisfactory response. 7,000,000 are listening. 7,000,000 are influenced. 7,000,000 people - 99% of whom knew NOTHING about hemophilia - are now the classmates, colleagues, and employers of members of our community, and this is the information they are equipped with. Now, we that must fight against this asinine stigma your show has single-handedly created," said Patrick James Lynch, hemophiliac and Exec Producer, Believe Digi.

While not seeming like much to some, this has shaken the bleeding disorder community, MY community to the core.

We are formally requesting that a public video apology be made, not just to the entire bleeding community, but the entire Secrets and Lies viewers, for the misinformation that was given.


Jay Bishop
Executive Director
BleedFree, Inc.

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