Two sisters have been awarded coveted Susan Skinner Memorial Fund Scholarships.
Emily and Allison Albright, sisters from Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A, rarely spent longer than a few days away from each other for most of their lives. After recently completing her studies at Michigan State University, Allison Albright relocated for a job as Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) Program Coordinator with the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota (U.S.A), while Emily Albright continues studying towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Michigan. For the first time, the sisters—who both worked summers together at Hemophilia of Michigan’s Camp Bold Eagle—are apart. Emily, however, happily notes that, “We still talk all the time.”
As fortune would have it, the sisters were together this summer when they received a letter from WFH USA President Eric Stolte and SSMF founder Mark Skinner, informing them that they had both been selected as the 2019 recipients of the Susan Skinner Memorial scholarship. Allison Albright saw the letter first and turned to her sister, who also had an excited look on her face. They were not aware that the other had applied and after a quick laugh, they began to worry the committee had made an error, mixing up their names. They decided to wait one day before telling their parents that they would be attending the 2020 WFH World Congress and the WFH General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Much to their relief, there was no mistake. The committee selected the sisters based upon their past contributions to their local chapters and their potential to become potent advocates for the global bleeding disorders community in the future.
The sisters are committed to raising awareness about women and bleeding disorders. “I don’t think young girls are exposed enough to spaces and situations where they can feel comfortable discussing their struggles,” Emily Albright explains. “It’s important to normalize female-centered conversations about bleeding disorders.” Allison Albright echoes this, adding that education is key to addressing the fact that women’s symptoms are often brushed aside by medical professionals. “If we can increase the representation of women in the community and fight false notions working against us, we can improve care for all women living with bleeding disorders,” she says.
The Susan Skinner Memorial Fund endowment supports the training and education of young women with bleeding disorders. Scholarship recipients demonstrate outstanding leadership potential to improve the care of women with bleeding disorders in their country and become future leaders of their national organization. WFH USA would like to thank all the supporters who make this award possible and the National Hemophilia Foundation for their help in promoting the award in the U.S.A community.