Rare Disease Report

Barry Haarde: Cycling 2,000 Miles for Hemophilia Awareness

JULY 11, 2017
Martha Hopewell
Cyclist Barry Haarde will discover the great state of Alaska in his pursuit of his 2,000-mile goal to raise $35,000 for his favorite charity, Save One Life.
Since 2012 Haarde has ridden over 20,000 miles through 38 states and Canada to raise more than $200,000 for Save One Life, a non-profit organization focused on helping people with hemophilia, and which financially supports over 1,400 impoverished children and youth with the rare bleeding disorder in 13 developing countries.
Hemophilia is a rare genetic disorder that prevents blood from forming an effective clot. Occurring in 1 out of 5,000 male births, untreated hemophilia can cause prolonged internal bleeding, painful joint deformities, crippling and even death.
Haarde began this year’s Call of the Wild ride in Dawson Creek, British Columbia on June 12th, following the AlCan Highway up through Fort Nelson and into the Yukon before entering Alaska.
The trip has not been without its mishaps: for the first time in all his travels, Haarde collided with another biker near Watson Lake. While the other rider went home with a broken pelvis, Barry survived with mere bumps and bruises – and a newfound gratitude for factor – the medicine he uses to help his blood clot. After a few days of recovery, he was back on the road to arrive in Delta Junction on July 4th.
For many years Haarde hid his HIV-positive status, which was transmitted to him through a contaminated blood product for his hemophilia. After surviving a grueling multi-year treatment to cure his hepatitis in his early forties, he decided to make his condition public. Since then, he has been a symbol of courage, determination, and endurance for people with hemophilia around the world.
“I’ve lived for over thirty years with HIV and dealt with hepatitis C—from which I’d developed liver cirrhosis—so I have a very strong sense of gratitude and appreciation,” says Haarde. “Not only have I survived, I am able to maintain the physical health and conditioning required to ride a bike across North America.”
Haarde is now in Alaska and continuing the ride. On July 9th, he started in Anchorage and is now circling through Fairbanks to Valdez. He looks forward to meeting members of the Alaska bleeding disorders community along the way, until his goal of 2,000 miles is reached.
Haarde is an outstanding example of his favorite motto, attributed to musician Bob Marley, “You don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
The funds Barry is raising will help Save One Life grow its sponsorship, scholarship, micro-enterprise grant and hemophilia camp programs. To learn more about Barry and his Wheels for the World campaign, visit www.SaveOneLife.net.
Bioverativ is a silver sponsor of “Wheels for the World 2017: Call of the Wild.” The Alliance Pharmacy, The Amerisource Bergen Foundation, Aptevo Therapeutics, George King Bio-Medical and Matrix Health Group are also sponsoring this event.

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