Eager to get involved with WPBDF, Ashley and her family joined the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk in 2022 with the name Fox Factor. Their family walks for their one-year-old son, Rylen.

Being an obligate carrier, Ashley knew her sons would have a chance at inheriting the disorder. Rylen was diagnosed shortly after birth using a cord blood kit provided by their HTC. “Despite my preparations throughout pregnancy, I succumbed to emotion and felt helpless. The first few months were filled with fear and even guilt,” Ashley says, “…soon enough though, I allowed those emotions to motivate me toward education and advocacy.”

Rylen is an active one-year-old who loves exploring, climbing, and pushing boundaries.  Despite having bleeding disorders within their family, the Fox’s consider themselves a normal family, “…with an extra layer of preparedness.” They celebrate the highs and stick together through the lows. “Of course the injuries, infusions, and late-night ER trips can take a toll on us as parents, but we stand strong for our little warrior,” Ashley says.

The Fox Family tries to find balance by giving Rylen the freedom to be a kid but also taking precautions to keep him safe. They carry a first aid kit, an ‘emergency plan of care,’ in each vehicle, along with their on-the-go bag to always stay prepared.

Ashley dove headfirst into education and advocacy where she was introduced to Kara, Jessica, and Janet. Ashley began participating in Foundation events and even had an article about Rylen published in the Winter 2022 Hemogram. “WPBDF has been such a blessing to our family since day one — from their grocery program and holiday gifts, to sending Rylen a med ID bracelet, they have gone above and beyond to make us feel welcome and valued.”

To Ashley, being apart of WPBDF means having an extra layer of support. “The ladies at WPBDF have become lifelong friends of mine, and I’m thankful for their endless support. Being able to share our story and connect with others in the community has made this journey feel less isolating.”

Fox Factor decided to participate in the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk to not only honor their son, Rylen, but to honor all the individuals living with bleeding disorders. Because Rylen will be older this year, their family is excited to see him participate again as an energetic toddler.

Their favorite part about the Walk is seeing their team members decked out in their red and black Fox Factor shirts and walking alongside them. “Raising awareness is at the core of our team’s purpose, which makes the walk such a significant event for us each year,” Ashley says, “…the walk allows our family to feel seen and empowered.”

“The walk is a memorable and meaningful event that you won’t regret participating in. Even small donations add up to big changes in our community. Individuals living with bleeding disorders face many challenges physically, mentally, emotionally, and even financially. WPBDF helps support those individuals and families through education programs, financial assistance, as well as advocacy. Your support provides assistance and opportunities for families just like ours. Thank you for making a difference.”

You can make a donation or register to join Ashley and her team on Walk Day at: https://uniteforbleedingdisorders.org/event/wpa