Advertisement

Hurdling Over Hemophilia


Like most 15-year-old girls, Hannah James enjoys going to the mall with friends, dancing at Friday night football games, and spending time with family and friends. Unlike most people, however, Hannah has to meticulously plan her days to prevent her from experiencing symptoms of hemophilia.

Hemophilia is a blood disorder in which a person is missing one, or part of one, of the 13 clotting factors necessary to help the blood clot and heal minor bumps and bruises. It can range from mild to severe, and the most common symptom is internal bleeding into muscles and joints, causing joint deterioration. Hannah, her sister, and her father all have hemophilia. 

Hannah was diagnosed two years ago, and she has had to learn how to manage her days. She says, “What makes my days different is that I have to plan ahead for anything physical I might be doing. At our house, we call it ‘saving our steps.’ There are only so many steps in a day my dad, my sister, and I can take before bleeding into joints and pain ensues.”

Hannah must decide where she wants to spend her steps and then plan rest for before and after an activity. She must also ice her joints and muscles, if she has bled. 

Carla James, Hannah’s mother, says Hannah’s diagnosis explained a lot. She could finally understand some of the pain Hannah had experienced, and she no longer felt helpless. She’s proud of her daughter for becoming a positive role model for those with hemophilia. Instead of letting the disease bring her down, Hannah faces it head on. She explains, “Hannah has faced this with greater confidence than most adults would have. I have seen her get knocked down a few times this year only to rise stronger and more determined to live life.”

Hannah was recently chosen to participate in a Broadway-style production, Hemophilia: The Musical, in New York. Children from across the country who have bleeding disorders were selected as the cast. The audition process was intense, but Hannah knew this was something she had to do. She says, “There are different ways to do normal things. Most kids feel like they can’t do anything active at all, but singing and the arts are things you can do in the community without straining your joints and muscles.”

Hannah’s thrilled to give back to the hemophilia community through the musical, but her giving back doesn’t stop there. Hannah and her family run a national charity called Hope for Hemophilia, which provides resources for those living with hemophilia.

“If you are a kid, have a child with a disorder, or have family or friends with any kind of disorder, I hope you look to the future even though it may hold pain,” Hannah encourages. “I hope you can find solace or help in the good things in life. Stay positive and stay in touch with your community.”

Carla beams with pride as she shares how brilliantly Hannah has handled everything. She says, “I really can’t explain the emotions when your child is dealt a hard hand, and rather than give up, she chooses to ‘ride the bull.’ Hannah takes what is given to her and quite literally makes the absolute most of it.” ■

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

01 Dec 2018


By Madeline Rathle

Recent Articles more articles

Parkview Second Graders Welcome Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome

in Sponsored Content

Second graders at Parkview Baptist School recently welcomed Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome to speak about Black History Month and her role as the first female, African American Mayor-President of our City-Parish.

Hop into Fun at Valor this Spring

in Sponsored Content

Valor Gymnastics will be hosting Easter & Spring Break Camps from April 2-9 from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome at an additional fee.  For more information, call (225) 766-7070. Register online today.  

Make Every Summer Day a Precious One

in Sponsored Content

Summer is a time for kids to be kids and Y summer camp is the place to make every summer day a precious one.

Pedigo and Boucher Guide Eagles At LHSAA Indoor State Meet

in Sponsored Content

The Parkview Baptist indoor track and field team had a strong showing at the LHSAA Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse on the campus of LSU.

Advertisement
Newsletter