Camp helps kids with hemophilia - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Camp helps kids with hemophilia

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- It is likely you have never met anyone suffering from hemophilia.

Recently some kids suffering from the disease had a chance to interact with people just like them.

Jacob is a happy sixth grader.  He likes to play basketball and baseball, but he cannot participate in any contact sports.

That is because Jacob suffers from hemophilia.

"When I was six months old my mom and dad started seeing me getting bruised just from crawling around." said Jacob.

Hemophilia is an inherited disease that prevents the blood from clotting properly.

Hemophiliacs must give themselves injections to replace what their blood is missing.

"What we need to do then is because it is inherited and life long we want to teach the children to manage their bleeding episodes and their hemophilia appropriately." said Karla Watkinson, camp nurse.

Kids from all over Iowa suffering from hemophilia had the chance to share their experiences with each other at Camp Tanager.

"A lot of these kids don't know others kids with hemophilia in their town. They perhaps only meet up with another child they know with hemophilia once a year and quite often that's at camp." said Donald Pirrie, camp director.

This was an opportunity for kids like Jacob to talk to people who really understand.

"A lot of my friends like when I have gotten a cut before one of my friends was like now are you going to die or something and I was like no its only if I have internal bleeding." said Jacob.

Camp Tanager starts the camp at age six where kids can learn at a young age how to infuse themselves.

"What we want to do eventually is have them be self sufficient and able to do the venus access themselves. So we start by just doing the preparation and then we may stick their veins and they push it in." said Watkinson.

The nurses at the camp find it is truly an accomplishment when a young camper decides to infuse themselves for the first time.

Hemophilia is an inherited blood disorder and is mostly found in boys.

Factor eight deficiency affects one in five thousand males and factor nine deficiency appears in one in thirty thousand males.  This is what they are missing in their blood to clot properly.

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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