The Canadian Hemophilia Society has published a romance novel, and it’s amazing
Working in public relations for a disease society must be a hard job. Nobody really wants what you’re selling (i.e. disease) and it’s never news unless Jennifer Lawrence comes down with a case of it, or something. And so it’s not hard to understand why the Canadian Hemophilia Society might be feeling a little publicity-starved, although its decision to try to remedy that problem by commissioning a hemophilia-themed romance novel is still puzzling.
The story, which is available for reading on Toronto-based online publishing platform Wattpad, is titled A Negative, and was written by L.D. Crichton, an author with about a dozen other Wattpad romance novellas to her name. It’s about Ashley, a Toronto girl who moves to rural Fairview, Ontario and who—and here’s the twist—suffers from undiagnosed von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder that requires some urgent attention from (naturally) an attractive doctor.
And so here’s what hemophilia romance fiction is like.
On the first date, following a meet-cute during which our heroine bleeds for an ominously long time after being kicked by a horse:
I open the door for Dr. Maxwell who blinks. “Wow,” he says. “You sure look different when you’re not bleeding out from a head wound.”
“Thanks,” I say, “I get that a lot.”
In the hospital, after an extremely plot-convenient second run-in with the same horse:
“Have you ever been tested for anemia?”
“No. Why are you asking me this?”
He looks at me, sympathetically. “Ashley, sweetheart. I think you may have a bleeding disorder, but we can’t be sure until you have some testing done by a hematologist.”
The story also gets an incredible amount of mileage out of the fact that women with von Willebrand disease tend to have extremely heavy periods. By and large, it’s not badly written, and for people who read romance novels it would probably be a fun distraction.
The Hemophilia Society’s press release says the purpose of the project is to reach out to young women, whose bleeding disorders tend to go undiagnosed. With any luck, somewhere there’s a romantically unfulfilled, nosebleed-prone reader whose whole life is about to be turned upside-down.