Having hemophilia doesn’t mean you or your child must live a sedentary life, cut off from all opportunities for fitness. Just ask Terry Lamb of Virgina, who is 59 years old and lifts weights six days a week. On his day off, he swims.
When Terry was born, there was no such thing as prophylaxis treatment. The doctors told his parents he would only live to be eight years old. Upon hearing the news, his father declared that “I don’t care how long we have him. He will be a full-fledged boy.” And so he was. Terry had bleeds, of course, but says he grew up “very normal” despite his hemophilia.
But Terry wishes he could have had the opportunities he has now when he was younger. “Unfortunately… I hadn’t started [exercising] young. I’d be in a lot better shape than I am now,” he says. Terry encourages young people with hemophilia “to utilize what they have today… There is so much freedom. I never thought I would have the freedom, this late in life, that I do today.”
“I encourage the young people to exercise, get out and participate in sports, in the sports that’s safe for them to do,” Terry says. He was a horse trainer by profession, and continues to ride and train as a hobby. “I can go out, ride my horses safely, and not worry about anything.”
Terry says that anyone with drive and determination can stay on top of their health, no matter what hurdles they may face. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s easy,” he says. “It’s not.” But he stresses that anybody can do it. “Just stay on top of things, research, study, exercise, eat right, take your vitamins, get your rest, and you’ll be all right… You can reach any goal you want to.”
And he should know. Terry has outlived his doctor’s prediction by fifty-one years, and has gone nine years without a bleed. He can thank his infusions for much of that, but he knows that taking care of his hemophilia is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. He hopes that his story will help young people realize the same.
Terry is a prominent voice in HFA’s FitFactor program, which encourages patients with hemophilia to focus on living a fit, healthy life. To learn more about FitFactor, visit fitfactor.hemophiliafed.org.