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brooke ethan jul 24

Brooke Kalinowski Raises $1,000 to Help People Living with Hemophilia

By Coleen Lou, Director of Communications

Published June 26, 2024


When eighth grader Brooke Kalinowski was asked to start thinking about what topic she wanted to focus on for her Capstone Project for her final year of middle school, she decided to choose the subject of hemophilia, a bleeding disorder that causes a person’s blood to not clot properly. She selected the topic because it was meaningful to her and her family. Brooke’s cousin, Ethan, has hemophilia, and she had always wanted to learn more about it, but they lived far away.

When they were younger and Brooke visited over the holidays, she saw some of the challenges Ethan faces and how he must self-infuse to treat his disorder. It was only natural that Brooke chose to focus her attention on hemophilia and the organization that has helped Ethan and has been there for him throughout his life, Hemophilia of Georgia (HoG). “I thought it would be a great way to help out and raise awareness for people with bleeding disorders, especially because it is a rare disease and not many people know about it,” said Brooke.

For the project, Brooke interviewed HoG’s Chief Medical Officer, Bobby Tran, MD, as well as Ethan and his mother, Emily. Brooke recalled, “I really learned a lot from the interview process, especially talking to Dr. Tran. He knows so much and speaking to him helped me clarify some of the research I had done. It was also nice to see how much he loves his work! Doing the interviews was a great experience and really brought me closer to my cousin. He is a very special person and goes through so much.”

After a great deal of research and interviews, Brooke produced a 25-page research report. Additionally, as part of the Capstone Project, Brooke wanted to raise money for HoG. She proposed a "dress down" day at school charging five dollars for anyone that didn't want to wear their uniform. As a result, she was able to raise over a thousand dollars and later she flew to Georgia for a visit and presented the check (that would ultimately be donated to Hemophilia of Georgia) to her cousin in person. “I was very happy I was able to be there and see him. I felt proud my school came together to support a cause that was important to me and my family. It was great to see Ethan’s face light up when I presented him with the check,” Brooke exclaimed.

Ethan said "I thought it was so cool that Brooke not only wanted to learn more about hemophilia but decided to create her own fundraiser to raise money for HoG!  I am really grateful!"

Ethan’s Mom, Emily stated, “I was thrilled when I heard that Brooke was choosing Hemophilia as the topic for her Capstone project. Hemophilia is so rare and there are still so many people that don't know much about it. Brooke's project helps bring more awareness around the entire bleeding disorder community. I love that after talking to Ethan and me, Brooke could tell just how much HoG means to us and decided to raise money for the organization.”

Brooke’s Capstone Project took 8 months to complete, and we are happy to report that she got an A on her project!

Hemophilia of Georgia is grateful to Brooke for the gift she made to our organization and is very proud of her initiative and desire to help people with bleeding disorders. If you would like to help by making a gift, visit