“I have von Willebrand’s disease. I have type 3 which is the worst type. It’s generally in boys, but I’m one of the only girls in the world to have it. Von Willebrand’s disease is like hemophilia. It’s a blood disorder where I’m missing von Willebrand factor in my blood, which regulates clotting.
Life with von Willebrand’s disease isn’t difficult, but I just have to take precaution. When I have surgeries, I have to stay in the hospital for about a week. I have to carry a first aid kit on me and wear a bracelet that says if I ever get knocked unconscious the doctors know how to treat me. I take medication when I have heavy nose bleeds or I get injured; I take stimate and augmentin. I inhale it through my nose.
I was diagnosed when I was 2. I had a blood test done because my dad and my grandpa have it, so it’s just genetic.
It’s not a negative factor, and I also think it influences me to get out of my comfort zone and try things. I’m not supposed to do any kind of sport that can have physical contact, yet I play waterpolo. I might be walking around with bruises on my legs or my arms, but I realized that I don’t need to care about what other people think of me. I just need to keep working on my goals towards life.” —Junior Emily Kitley