“Only the good die young.”
“Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse.”
“The idea is to die young as late as possible.”
What do these three quotes have in common (apart from being incredibly morbid)? Well, all not so gently hit on the universally accepted truth that dying young sucks. Like, really, really sucks.
And, for a certain sub-set of baby boomers, that truth would have hit a little too close to home: Namely, those born with hemophilia.
For anyone born back in the 40s, 50s and 60s, life expectancy seldom extended past the teen years. And while things started to improve with the introduction of plasma infusions, serious internal bleeds were more often than not fatal.
So when kids like Randy Curtis heard his doctor tell his parents he wouldn’t live much past 13, he figured there was no point in making long-term plans.
But something funny happened to Curtis and many of his contemporaries with hemophilia: He lived.
New innovations and discoveries kept coming, from frozen plasma to freeze-dried clotting factors to clotting factors developed in a lab. And now, at age 61, someone who thought he would never make it to college (let along get out of grade school) is enjoying his retirement and plans to spend some time volunteering for the World Federation of Hemophilia and the National Hemophilia Foundation.
For the “Gen X,” “Gen Y,” and “Millennial” people living with hemophilia, making plans for the future may seem like a given. But it’s worth taking a moment to remember how, not that long ago, survival seemed like a distant promise.
And for others struggling with their own serious disease—or caring for someone with something serious—it’s also worth remembering that statistics only tell a part of the story.
Change and progress happen all the time, so never surrender hope and never stop planning for tomorrow!
Read the whole story of Baby Boomers with hemophilia here. Have any stories you want to share about overcoming the odds? Let us know below!