Helping hand for haemophiliacs
FOR the parents of Archie McCann and Kelly Horkings, no one saw what was coming when they were just six and eight months old.
Both children were diagnosed with severe haemophilia, a genetic blood disorder that is incurable.
But, you wouldn’t tell that they had the disease.
‘‘People with hemophilia live a normal life,’’ said mum Tara Horkings.
‘‘The boys know their barriers, but we try to give them a normal life.
‘‘They play footy, they run around, they do the adventurous, playful, cheerful things that any child that age would do.’’
What is normally a genetic disorder, with a family history, neither of the kids had that history, so it came out of the blue.
But, through further tests, the mothers found out they were carriers of the disease.
‘‘It means that we have a gene for haemophilia, but because females have two X chromosomes, we don’t suffer from it,’’ said Kasey McCann, mother of Archie.
The biggest concern for the boys is the internal bleeding they can get from something as simple as crawling.
‘‘It was the toughest time, especially for Archie, because he was just starting to crawl and later walk,’’ Kasey said.
A device called a port has been inserted under the boys’ arms for continuous treatment, which entails injections of the synthetic factor eight gene.
Kelly has treatment three times a week, but Archie has to have the treatment every second day and receives larger doses.
Both boys also travel to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for half-yearly checkups.
This week is Bleeding Disorders Awareness week and the boys and their families will be holding a red cake stall out the front of Cotton On in Hare Street this Saturday, October 14, from 9-11am.
To get involved with fundraising or raising awareness visit www.haemophilia.org.au or HFA on 1800 807 173.
BLOODY GOOD JOB: On Saturday Archie McCann and Kelly Horkings will be helping their mothers raise funds for, and the profile of, Bleeding Disorders Awareness.