Trails are Calling: Embracing Adventure with the Hemophilia Community
By Jeff Schaffnit, Head of US Rare Blood Disorders
August 16, 2023
Adventure awaits the more than 30,000 people in the US living with hemophilia,1 a rare disorder in which a person’s blood does not clot properly, resulting in chronic joint pain, joint damage,2 and difficulty undertaking various activities of daily living.3 Because of the condition, many people living with hemophilia can be wary of adventurous physical undertakings due to fear of bleeding or joint pain.3 But experts agree that safe physical activity and time spent outdoors can have a positive impact on physical, emotional, and mental health.4 That’s why Sanofi launched Trails are Calling, an open invitation to the hemophilia community to embrace the outdoors and find the adventures, or trails, which call to them.
Whether on a bike path, a swim lane, a yoga mat, or a sidewalk, Trails are Calling seeks to inspire activity for people, at a level that is comfortable for them. For those with hemophilia, everyday adventures – big and small – can be safe and possible with proper disease management and adherence to care plans.3
With treatment advancements combined with ongoing innovation, we’re entering a new era where we can start to reframe what’s possible for people living with hemophilia, as well as their friends and family.3 Encouraging people, particularly those with hemophilia, to be physically active can be instrumental in battling susceptibility to additional chronic diseases and mental health conditions.4 Patients should speak with their doctor before starting a new physical activity.3
“Growing up with hemophilia, there were some activities that were off limits. But I was able to find a path to manage my condition even in extreme environments, including Mount Everest,” said Chris Bombardier, Executive Director, Save One Life.
To kick off Trails are Calling in the US, Sanofi was excited to announce its support for the opening and closing events of the 2023 Wheels for the World cross-country bike ride through an exclusive partnership with Save One Life, a nonprofit organization empowering individuals and families affected by bleeding disorders in developing countries.
“The Wheels for the World ride has helped increase awareness and support for the global hemophilia community for many years,” continued Bombardier. “My hope is that these rides and stories of adventure will inspire people with or without hemophilia to get outside of their comfort zone and try something new.”
The ride, which kicked off in August 2023, in Portland, Oregon, and concludes in early October 2023, in Portland, Maine, was established in memory of Barry Haarde, who lived with hemophilia and advocated for the community. Inspired by Barry, Doug Mildram, who is connected to the Save One Life team and broader hemophilia community, is now carrying on Barry’s legacy and riding across the country in his honor.
Wheels for the World will hold additional rides across the US, including in Montana, South Dakota, New York, and Massachusetts, with virtual rides available as well where people can log their miles anytime, anywhere from July 30 to November 6, 2023. These rides will celebrate and support Save One Life’s fundraising efforts to help people living with bleeding disorders in developing countries become independent. Please visit the Save One Life website to track the progress of Doug’s ride and share your support.
Sanofi’s commitment to patients extends beyond the therapies we develop. Our programs and websites aim to educate patients, families, and healthcare providers about the diseases we treat and other issues that affect patients’ lives.
Trails are Calling is part of Sanofi’s effort to redefine what is possible for people with hemophilia. There is opportunity for the community to come together and try something new, meet others, and find their own adventures, or trails. To learn more about hemophilia and how to talk to your doctor, visit redefininghemophilia.com.
- Hemophilia B: An overview of symptoms, genetics and treatments to help you understand hemophilia. National Hemophilia Foundation. https://www.hemophilia.org/bleeding-disorders-a-z/types/hemophilia-b Accessed August 4, 2023.
- What is hemophilia? Centers for Disease Control. July 17, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html. Accessed August 4, 2023
- Srivastava A, et al. WHF Guidelines for the Management of Hemophilia Third Edition. Haemophilia Wiley. 2020; 26 (Suppl. 6): 1-158. doi:10.1111-hae.14046
- Wittmeier, K, Mulder K. Enhancing Lifestyles for individuals with haemophilia through physical activity and exercise: the role of physiotherapy. Haemophilia. 2007; 13 (Suppl. 2), 31–37. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2516.2007. 01504.x