It’s truly an inspiration to see a young man turn a tragic moment into a youth movement toward adherence
You’ve heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” And in fact, laughter does have its emotional and physical health benefits. But what about laughter, or comedy, as a means to engage and educate those affected by a rare, genetic disorder? This was the vision of Patrick James Lynch, a severe hemophiliac and actor/writer/producer—and he made it happen.
Lynch and his brother were both born with severe hemophilia, a bleeding disorder that primarily affects males. While away at college, Lynch’s brother suffered a fatal bleed. A lax approach to his treatment regimen was discovered to be a contributing factor. From this devastating tragedy, Lynch found a calling—to use his personal experiences, acting talents, and entertainment industry connections to reach and educate young hemophiliacs on the importance of being adherent and proactive in their care.
How It All Started
This is how Stop the Bleeding! was born. Lynch and his production company, Believe Digi, describe the project as a “comedic, mockumentary-styled web series about a dysfunctional non-profit that serves the bleeding disorder community.” Think along the lines of The Office or Parks and Recreation.
“Often times [young people with hemophilia] have been inundated with medical information their whole life,” Lynch explained in an interview on Ebru Today. “Someone like me who has hemophilia, since you’re born, doctors are telling you what’s best for you, you’re getting email blasts or letters sent home that are very clinically oriented, very medically intense. And when you become a teenager, you’ve had enough of that.”
Lynch went on to describe “Stop the Bleeding! as “an effort to use comedy as a means of engagement- to reconnect with guys who are beginning to pull away as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.”
Praise from the Hemophilia Community
The award-winning series, as well as its related events and contests, have been met with praise, enthusiasm, and appreciation from the hemophilia community. Episodes have starred real patients and families and even professional baseball player C.J. Wilson, who also works with children and teens living with chronic illnesses through C.J. Wilson’s Children’s Charities.
It was a long and arduous journey to get the project off the ground, but Lynch was persistent. After a failed Kickstarter effort and a great deal of networking, he eventually gained the attention and financial support from pharma, which turned his vision into reality.
What Comes Next
And he’s not done yet. Lynch has also helped launch Helping Hany, a stop-motion animation series about a young girl with von Willebrand Disease (a bleeding disorder that affects both males and females). He’s also teaming up with the New York City Hemophilia Chapter to kick off a health and wellness program dedicated to teens affected by bleeding disorders
It’s truly an inspiration to see a young man turn a tragic moment into a youth movement toward adherence and living well with hemophilia—all started by poking a little fun at a serious disorder.