It is with great sadness that the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) learned of the passing of Lily Heijnen, a valued member of the WFH team.
Lily Heijnen’s expertise, work ethic and kindness reverberated throughout the bleeding disorders community during her lifetime, and will continue to have an impact on people everywhere in years to come. She dedicated her life to educating and promoting the importance of rehabilitation and physiotherapy to people living with a bleeding disorder. Her hard work helped many people in developing countries—and elsewhere in the world—overcome the challenges they face living with hemophilia.
Lily began her career at the Van Creveld Clinic in the Netherlands. After becoming a rehabilitation specialist, she decided to bring her experience to other parts of the world, volunteering for the WFH on countless workshops. She also went to India, Indonesia, Pakistan and many other countries to train health care professionals and build strong and productive relationships with hemophilia centres there. Throughout her career and life, she worked tirelessly to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s this spirit and dedication that so many friends and coworkers found inspiring—and which we will all miss.
Last year, Lily was given the WFH International Healthcare Volunteer Award, which honours a volunteer healthcare professional who has contributed significantly to further the mission and goals of the WFH. It is awarded every two years at the WFH World Congress and is one of our most prestigious volunteer awards. The WFH is very proud that it was able to recognize Lily’s contributions with such a worthy honour, and we know it was an important milestone in her career.
On behalf of the WFH Board and staff—as well as the bleeding disorders community as a whole—we send Lily Heijnen’s family our deepest condolences.