Cassidy was born in 1980. When she was 3 months old, she had a bruise on her chest from her zipper on her pajamas. My parents took her to the hospital and they were immediately accused of child abuse. After doing tests, they diagnosed her with GT. When she was little, she had her nose packed 3 times and coterized once. She had stiches in her mouth and tongue. She had 1 or 2 units of platelets for nose bleeds and minor injuries. In 1985, she had a nose bleed that required her to get packed. She ended up vomiting blood and passed out 3 times. For that, she got platelets and blood.

When she started her period in 1993, it was very bad right away. She passed out and was hospitalized. She got a few shots of Depoprovera and then started on Lo Ovral. It took quite a while to get completely under control. In 1996, Cassidy got very tired and passed out. She was bleeding internally and was hospitalized for 2 weeks, so had to miss a lot of school. She had had her own blood frozen a year before, so she was given that.

When she had her wisdom teeth pulled, she was just given a lot of Amicar before, and the procedure went well. She has had her hemoglobin checked numerous times, and takes prescription iron pills. In 2002, she moved from Ohio to Connecticut, so she had her hemoglobin checked again and it was at 6, so she received her own blood again. She just got married May 10, 2003 and does graphic design for a Christian organization called Young Life, which is an outreach to High Schoolers.

I, Kari, was born in 1981 and diagnosed right away. When I was 24 days old, I was bleeding internally. I was admitted to the hospital with a hemoglobin of 6. I had 2 blood transfusions and platelets. The nurse took out the IV and put a band-aid on my arm. I lost 35 cc of blood and had another transfusion. When I was 35 days old I was admitted to the hospital again for a nosebleed and had platelets. 20 days later I got croupe and was admitted again with a hemoglobin of 8 and had another transfusion. In 1983 I got stitches in my tongue, and in 1984, I vomitted blood, passed out, and went into shock. I was admitted with a hemoglobin of 6 and got blood and platelets.

I started my period in 1995 and it was intsantly bad. I was given a shot of Depoprovera which did not work at all. I then started birth control pills and had to switch kinds until I found one that worked for me, Lo Ovral. It was pretty bad for about a year and a half, but ever since it has been totally under control.

I have always had many nosebleeds, mostly in the winter. I keep a humidifier in my bedroom which really helps. I use amicar when they don't seem to be stopping. I was hospitalized in 2001 for a nosebleed, which was the first hospitalization since I was very little. Then in 2002 I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I was admitted to the hospital the night before and they started an IV of DDAVP. After surgery they gave me 2 shots of Novo 7, and they did not seem to work. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days because the bleeding was not stopping, and I was very weak. Now, I attend the Ohio State University, and plan to be a math teacher when I get out in 2005.

Overall, Cassidy and I feel very fortunate that our disorder hasn't kept us from much. Our parents were told by our doctors to always treat us like normal kids. We played many sports from the time we were little, such as soccer, basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading, softball, and track. We both went away from home for college. We have had many bumps, bruises, and scary incidents, but we both have a deep faith in Jesus Christ which gets us through trials. We feel fortunate that our disorder is not life-threatening and does not keep us from living and experiencing life, and we both have faith that God will give us healthy children some day.

Our advice to parents of children with GT is simply to treat your children normal. Teach them how to deal with their minor bleeds without panicking. Don't let them pity themselves and they will learn that they are lucky because there are worse diseases that they could have.

Thanks a lot,

Kari

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