Health Humans of CHS Op-Ed Series Students of CHS

Life with Hemophilia: Part 1

Hello Camas students and community. My name is Matthew Burns, a first-year member of the Camasonian staff, and I am here to share something interesting about myself.

I am a senior, 17 years old, I have been playing competitive soccer for 12 years, and I have a bleeding disorder that affects 0.0000537% of the people on planet Earth. I have hemophilia.

Photo Courtesy Sara Allizadeh.

Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder that means my blood does not clot. There are three different types of hemophilia: A, B, and C. Pretty easy to remember. To understand the differences, we need to take a trip into the bloodstream. Your blood has 10 factors that lead to your blood clotting if there is a cut or any blunt force trauma which usually leads to a bruise. The factors are labeled 1-10 which again, is not too difficult to remember.

Hemophilia A, which is what I have, means I am missing factor eight in my blood. This leads to internal bleeding. The frequentness of it is dependent on if you have mild, moderate, or severe. I personally have moderate. So I internally bleed (for the sake of this article, I am just going to refer to internal bleeding as a ¨bleed¨) a decent amount, (but that is amplified by playing soccer three to four times a week.)

Hemophilia B is the absence of factor nine in the blood. Not as common as hemophilia A, it is much easier to treat. There is talk that they have already found a cure for it, which is incredible news for the hemophilia community. People who have hemophilia B worry less about the bleeds and more about cuts and scratches. If they sustain a cut, they will bleed much longer than people with normal clotting levels in their blood

Hemophilia C is the rarest type of hemophilia, as it only affects Jewish people of Ashkenazi descent. I have never met somebody with hemophilia C even after attending multiple summer camps for hemophilia.

So, that is a little background on hemophilia. Check-in for future pieces from yours truly about what life with this disorder is like.

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