WFH NETWORK

Susan Skinner Memorial Fund: Marking 10 Years of Supporting Young Women in the Global Bleeding Disorders Community

Founded 10 years ago, the Susan Skinner Memorial Fund was established by the Skinner family to honor the spirit and determination of the late Susan Skinner.

The Susan Skinner Memorial Fund awards scholarships to women between the ages of 18 and 30 who have a bleeding disorder or who are carriers, and who exhibit the kind of qualities that are needed to become an impactful leader in the bleeding disorders community.

Born in in Topeka, Kansas, U.S.A. in 1933, Susan married her husband Thomas Skinner in 1954 and together they enjoyed a 50-year marriage before her passing in 2005. The Skinners had two children, and Susan’s commitment to the bleeding disorders community began when both of their sons were diagnosed with hemophilia.

For the rest of her life, she would exhibit a commitment and determination that was an inspiration to those in the community. She instilled many qualities in her children, including the ability to be positive in the light of their health challenges, the courage to aspire to make a difference in the world, and, above all else, the drive to work hard at supporting the people of the bleeding disorders community. The spirit of the Susan Skinner Memorial Fund is proudly built on these qualities.

Established in 2007, the Susan Skinner Memorial Fund began with a US$15,000 endowment. In only a decade, the endowment of the fund has increased to over US$300,000 thanks to many generous donations. In its history, the fund has awarded 14 scholarships to inspirational women who have gone on to be leaders in the bleeding disorders community. The fund’s growth has allowed it to increase the number of scholarships that can be awarded. In 2018, the Susan Skinner Memorial Fund will award scholarships to six recipients: two from the U.S.A and four from other countries.

This is a special year for the Susan Skinner Memorial Fund, not only due to its 10th anniversary, but also its connection to this year’s World Hemophilia Day theme which is focused on girls and women affected by bleeding disorders. This will bring much-needed attention to the challenges that women in our community face—challenges they may face with their own bleeding disorder, or how facing someone they support within our community.

In the coming months, we will be interviewing many past scholarship recipients to see how winning had an impact on their lives—and the lives of those in their local bleeding disorders communities. We hope you’ll check in soon to read their inspirational stories.