What do you think of when you hear the term “bleeding disorder?” It may be a more broad term than you had imagined. Any disorder in which a person’s clotting ability is impaired is a bleeding disorder. We all learned about the parts of blood in high school, right? There are the red blood cells, and the white blood cells, and the platelets. And the platelets make the clots. While that’s technically true, it’s more complicated than that–there need to be proteins to tell the platelets to come to the site of the injury (like Tissue Factor), proteins to hold the platelets together (like fibrinogen), and proteins to tell those proteins to come (like Factor VIII).
Many have heard of hemophilia. If you know a bit more about bleeding disorders, you may have heard of von Willebrand’s disease. And then there are more and more disorders–some of them affecting thousands of babies every year, and others that only affect a handful of people in the world. The symptoms vary–some people with bleeding disorders are more prone to nosebleeds, where others are prone to bleeding in their muscles or joints. But they are all part of the class of bleeding disorder.
Camp Little Oak welcomes all girls who have a bleeding disorder, carry the gene for a bleeding disorder (enabling them to pass the disease to their children), or (as space permits) have a sibling with a bleeding disorder.