The Deciding Factor

The Deciding Factor

Interview with Katie Rossoll, NEHA Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk Team Captain
Posted: January 17, 2023. Originally printed in NEHA’s Fall 2022 Newsletter.


Katie and Mark’s son, Austin, was diagnosed with hemophilia A at birth in early 2021. Shortly after, they became NEHA members in search of support and education as they navigated this new diagnosis.

Their first time participating in the Walk was in 2021. That year, their team, The Deciding Factor, raised nearly $8,772. In 2022, they more than doubled that and raised an incredible $19,762!

Below is an interview with Austin’s mom, Katie, about how her family found NEHA, and why they decided to participate in our Walk.

How did you find out about NEHA and how long has your family been a part of the community?

We found out about NEHA through my older brother, Brad. Brad was diagnosed with mild hemophilia A when he was a toddler. He became a member of NEHA several years ago, when he moved to the Boston area.

When my husband and I found out we were expecting a boy, we knew it was possible that our son would also be diagnosed with hemophilia, like his uncle. Shortly after his birth, the hospital confirmed that Austin also has mild hemophilia A. After learning of Austin’s diagnosis, my brother recommended we join NEHA for additional support as we learned how to navigate this new journey. We joined not long after Austin was born, and we are excited to be a part of such an important community. After having an incredible experience at the Walk last year, we knew we had to come back again this year!

Why did you decide to join this year's Walk?

Hemophilia has always been a part of my life, but when our son was diagnosed in March of 2021, my husband and I quickly realized that we had a lot to learn about having a son with this bleeding disorder. After Austin’s diagnosis, we decided it was important as a family to get involved. We want to be a part of this community and contribute in every way possible. The Walk seemed to be the perfect place to start. The Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk was our first event with NEHA and we were so happy to participate together with our family and friends. We were very excited to meet other families that are also impacted by bleeding disorders.

Do you have any fundraising tips/tricks for fellow team captains? What worked well for you this year?

We have been in complete awe of the generosity and support provided to us by our families, friends, and coworkers. After receiving our initial email about the fundraiser, several of our friends immediately asked to join our team to walk alongside us in support of Austin, Brad, and all others living with hemophilia. We are truly inspired. Our biggest advice for fundraising is to not be afraid to share your story and to ask people to donate. You will be surprised how many people want to support your cause.