A Preston swimmer who represented Team GB at London 2012 has opened up about living with haemophilia A for this year’s Rare Disease Day.Advertisement
Jack Bridge is a former Hutton Grammar School pupil and began his journey as a swimmer at the early age of four before appearing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, placing 4th for the 100m breaststroke.
To mark Rare Disease Day on 28 February, Jack has discussed his experience growing up with the rare condition haemophilia A.
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Jack said: “For as long as I can remember, I have lived with haemophilia A, a rare bleeding disorder which means I have no factor VIII in my body to help with internal blood clotting.
“When I was little, I had a lot of bleeds into my elbow, knee and ankle joints, which are badly damaged as a result. This didn’t stop me from doing the sports I wanted to.
“After taking up swimming at the age of four, I never dreamed that I’d end up representing Team GB at London 2012 and that it would be the best experience of my life, one that I will always be grateful for.”
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One in 17 people in the UK will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives.
For those affected by a rare disease, receiving the correct diagnosis is one of the most significant challenges, taking an average of over four years, with some not receiving one at all.
Jack is one of 17 changemakers for the I am number 17 campaign, raising awareness of the challenges faced by the rare disease community.
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The campaign is now in its third phase, aligning with the UK Government Rare Disease Framework, and aims to raise awareness of rare diseases amongst the healthcare community.
For every unresolved illness healthcare professionals see, the campaign organisers asked them to consider rare diseases and help ‘Find the 1 in 17’.
For more information, visit – www.iamnumber17.org.uk
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