WMS joins fellow classmate to help raise hemophilia awarenessPublished 11:46am Thursday, May 9, 2013
Last Wednesday, students at Wetumpka Middle School wore red to raise awareness of hemophilia in honor of one of their classmates, eighth grader Chance Abrams.
The idea came from Abrams’ algebra teacher, Tracy Wright. He suggested teachers wear red to raise awareness after students wore pink the week before to support breast cancer awareness. Growing up, Wright had a friends who had hemophilia.
Students were also eager to show their support for Abrams, and Wetumpka Middle’s principal and members of the office staff wore special T-shirts with the message “Just for Chance.”
Chase is the son of Dana and Tim Abrams and has a 19-year-old brother, Hunter. He was diagnosed at two days old with severe hemophilia A with inhibitors.
His current treatment regimen is a daily intravenous infusion of Factor 8. The infusion typically takes an hour from start to finish. He has a port that was surgically placed in his chest that is used for the infusion about 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent of the time, a small butterfly needle is inserted into a vein in his arm or hand to administer the medication.
Abrams learned to infuse himself at age 12 while attending “Camp Clot Not.” This is a camp for bleeding disorder patients between the ages of 6-16. It is held annually in June at Children’s Harbor on Lake Martin.
He is like any other student his age – except he is missing a protein that enables his body to form a clot. Abrams plays trumpet in the school band and likes swimming and hanging out with his friends. He is also very involved with Hemophilia and Bleeding Disorders of Alabama, a local support group.
One of the major misconceptions about hemophilia is if cut they will bleed to death. But people with hemophilia do not bleed any faster, just longer, until the missing protein is replaced.
Also, internal bleeds rather than visible ones are a serious problem. People with severe hemophilia bleed into their muscles and joints. These bleeds often happen as a result of a trauma or injury but can occur spontaneously.
For this reason, Abrams is unable to participate in contact sports, but is encouraged to find other activities that decrease his risk of getting a bleed.