WFH mourns passing of Damaso Garcia

Damaso Garcia—supporter of bleeding disorders community in his native Dominican Republic, and All-Star baseball player—has passed away.

Garcia had a storied professional baseball career, and played for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, and Montreal Expos. His son was born in Toronto, and was diagnosed with hemophilia A. Soon after, Garcia started working with the local bleeding disorders community, and his commitment earned him a nomination for the Roberto Clemente award, which recognizes the Major League Baseball (MLB) player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”. Garcia promised not to wear any gold jewelry when his son got diagnosed with hemophilia—and he kept that promise until the day he retired.

It was when Garcia was traded to the Atlanta Braves that he and his wife, Haydee Benoit, began to get involved in the Dominican bleeding disorders community. The couple worked together tirelessly to support patients and caregivers in the Caribbean nation. Garcia was instrumental for bringing the challenges the community faced to the attention of the government. He founded the Fundación Apoyo al Hemofílico (FAHEM) and, with Haydee Benoit, started camps for kids with hemophilia. His dedication and kindness in the Dominican Republic will never be forgotten.

On behalf of the global bleeding disorders community, the WFH would like to express its deepest sympathies to all of Damaso Garcia’s family members, friends and colleagues.