The commitment of volunteers powers the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). From a student organizing a bake sale, to a patient raising funds for the community, to the work National Member Organizations (NMO) leaders do at the local level, the WFH is truly fortunate that so many people are working to attain the vision of Treatment for All. Today, on International Volunteer Day, the WFH would like to introduce the readers of Hemophilia World to Maria Manahan, volunteer leader.
Originally from Cuba, Manahan’s family later settled in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. While raising a family, Manahan returned to school, completing a graduate degree in non-profit management and a certificate in Gerontology. She went on to work in senior adult housing where she had the opportunity to build a program that would improve the lives of Alzheimer’s disease patients. She enjoyed giving back to senior adults, building lifelong friendships that she maintains to this day through serving as a volunteer board member. Serendipity played a role in Manahan’s introduction to the bleeding disorder community. She worked with a social worker who recommended her for a position with Hemophilia of Georgia. In the years since then, Manahan has continued to make a difference, this time in the bleeding disorders community. Now CEO of Hemophilia Georgia (U.S.A) and a WFH USA Board member, Manahan has seen the difference that committed volunteers can make in the global bleeding disorder community.
Through Hemophilia of Georgia’s involvement with the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, she saw firsthand the impact access to medication can have on the lives of children. Hemophilia of Georgia is also an active participant in the WFH Twinning Program, having twinned with organizations in Chile, Honduras, and Bolivia. These experiences allowed Manahan to see the WFH comprehensive development model’s power to transform the future of those living with bleeding disorders in developing nations from one that is uncertain to one with hope.
Manahan recently joined the WFH USA Board of Directors, taking on another leadership role within the community. When asked why others should support the WFH as she has, Manahan’s answer was both compassionate and compelling: “Many countries depend on the WFH for donated product and for healthcare professionals training. This is so important, because the cost to ship medication all over the world is extremely expensive, as is ensuring patients have access to a well-trained network of healthcare professionals. One group or individual could not accomplish this. It’s only through working together that we can ensure every child and adult, regardless of where they live, has access to treatment. This is our vision and I encourage each person who reads this to support the work we do. Your generosity will allow the WFH to treat more patients and for that we are eternally grateful.”
We celebrate Manahan’s philanthropic spirit and thanks her for all of her contributions. Please follow her lead and support the work of the WFH by donating today.