Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spark Showcases Passion in the Hemophilia Community

Contrary to most bleeding disorder community events, Spark engages the community in an exciting and entertaining display of passion and talent among 10 speakers. Spark Chicago (2011) wasn't a fluke. I, and many others, saw a need in our community: the need for a new event. Something that could reach the adult bleeders, grab them by the shoulders and shake the shit out of them. So with that in mind, who did we decide to host this thing? Hemophilia heartthrob and creator/star of Stop The Bleeding!, Patrick James Lynch, of course.

Similar to TED talks, Spark features a handful of speakers that give 5-minute talks on a subject of their choice (How to Start a Cult, Building Your First Website, The Importance of Fatherhood, History of Hip Hop, Dating Tips... to name a few). We encourage everyone to speak their mind and be themselves. This event IS NOT about us as hemophiliacs, it's about us as people... people that have a wide range of different skills, abilities and interests. Spark is built to showcase the features of an individual's life beyond hemophilia. So far, Spark has been embraced by both those who attend and those who participate. Community leaders Lee Hall and Aaron Craig have both given passionate talks about their involvement within the realm of hemophilia and this year was no different.

Other highlights from Spark Orlando:

Liam O'Neal gave us 10 quick "Snapple Facts" about his life. He talked about his time with the Navy, gave us a simple magic trick to try at the bar, and his thoughts on the song Call Me Maybe. Needless to say, we all learned a lot in five minutes.

Luke Saulsberry inspired us to do better by enlightening us with his "top achievements" thus far. Luke is a husband and new father. His achievements might be a little different than most of ours, but they are achievements nonetheless. For starters, his legs were immortalized in stone for an art project back in college, he hasn't bled to death yet, he graduated college, and he hasn't accidentally killed his child…yet... something he was way too proud to talk about.

Ryan Gielen is the producer of the upcoming comedic hemophilia web series Stop The Bleeding!. Ryan came all the way from L.A. to be with us at Spark and we were super stoked to have him. He told us about his life as a filmmaker and the success that he has had so far in his career. He teamed up with hemophilia heartthrob Patrick James Lynch a few years ago. Since then they have turned Stop The Bleeding! into a full-on web series they will be launching in January 2013.

Interested in speaking at our next Spark event? Contact me for more information and tips on how to give the best talk of your life! Seriously, Spark is super-laid-back and informal, but we plan quite a bit ahead of time to make it look easy. All speakers are given an easy-to-edit PowerPoint template and help on finding content or developing an idea to talk about. Join us at the next Spark event for more great talks, laughs, drinks, and fun.

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