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Deborah Tyler had never been happier.  She had a fulfilling job, a devoted boyfriend, and a family that was loving and supportive – including a twin sister, Mary, with whom she shared a special bond.  At 33, life was good and the future seemed bright.

But two summers ago Deborah’s life came to a sudden and tragic end when she suffered a pulmonary embolism (PE) – a deadly blood clot in the lung. PEs occur after a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a clot usually deep in a leg vein – breaks off and travels to the lung, shutting down the respiratory system.

The most heartbreaking part of Deborah’s story is that her death could – and should – have been prevented.  But her healthcare providers missed the signs.

Sadly, her experience is far from unique.

Each year more than 600,000 Americans suffer life-threating blood clots – many of which are preventable – and more than 100,000 will die because of them.  That’s more than die of breast cancer, AIDS, and car accidents combined.  Most people don’t even know they’re at risk – or what the symptoms are. Too often, their doctors miss the signs as well.

At the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA), we want to eliminate this tremendous suffering and loss.  Our mission is to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of blood clots – and to stop the unnecessary pain and death they cause. We are a volunteer-led organization that has advocated since 2003 for the needs of those subject to blood clots.  And that’s you, me and every American.  Blood clots can happen to anyone.

Over the last decade we’ve dedicated ourselves to raising awareness of blood clots – educating the public, patients, health care professionals and policymakers.  Our goal is to save lives.  We’re putting life-threatening blood clots on the nation’s radar.   

I’m writing to ask you to support NBCA’s mission with a generous gift.  Your tax-deductible contribution will help us expand our efforts to address this serious public health issue that, if not prevented, will hurt many more people as our population ages.

A number of factors place people at a higher risk for blood clots. These include: inherited traits; orthopedic surgery such as a knee or hip replacement; treatment for cancer or heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation; taking birth control pills; undergoing childbirth, hormone replacement therapy – or simply being immobile such as on long trips or during hospitals stays.

In fact . . . did you know that blood clots are the #1 cause of preventable deaths of hospitalized patients – and a leading reason for patients being readmitted after they’ve been discharged?  It is also the primary cause of death of new moms as a result of childbirth.

NBCA is working hard to change the landscape.  We are helping ensure that more people – patients and clinicians alike – know what signs and symptoms to look for, and what to do when they arise.

Your support makes possible such programs as:

  • NBCA’s “Stop the Clot” Forums and Online Consumer Education.  These programs educate patients and the general public about clots so they can play an active role in maintaining their own best health.  With NBCA’s support, patients (and their family members) become better equipped to get the most from their care.

  • NBCA’s Accredited Training for Healthcare Professionals.  NBCA provides accredited online training to ensure that health professionals serving millions of patients have and apply the latest knowledge on blood clots.  Those trained are more likely to properly diagnose and apply the latest advances in the treatment of blood clots.

At NBCA, we know that education and awareness will avoid others experiencing the loss of a promising life like Deborah Tyler’s.  That’s why it’s so urgent for us to put information and tools into the hands of those who need it.  But there are millions – health professionals, family caregivers, policymakers, and the general public – that we must still reach.  With your generous support, we will!

I hope we can count on you!  Your tax-deductible gift of $50, $100, $250, $500 or more will help provide information, education, advocacy and support that are priceless.
Thank you for your kindness.  I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy holiday season and New Year.
Sincerely,

Kathleen Smith

NBCA President

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P.S. Your gift will truly make a difference and help save lives – maybe even the life of someone you love.  Please send your tax-deductible gift to NBCA (c/o Campaign Processing, PO Box 333, Canton, MA 02021)  or donate online..  And while you’re on our website, please read about how you can “Stop the Clot” and the personal stories of those who have been affected.  Again, heartfelt thanks and best wishes!

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