About Jay Garman
My name is Jay Garman. I am 31 years old and I have severe hemophilia A. I have been married for 10 years to my beautiful wife KaRon and we have two amazing children together. I have 3 brothers Josh, John and Jeremy. Josh and I were the two children born with Hemophilia. Both severe type A and my mother is a symptomatic carrier. The era I was born in was an extremely difficult time for hemophiliacs as many of us were infected with hepatitis or HIV and acquired AIDS from contaminated factor products due to an unregulated policy where blood wasn't tested from donors and ended up contaminating a large majority of our factor. I was lucky that I wasn't infected. It was blind chance as no one could've known which batch of factor was contaminated. On top of having hemophilia, many of my blood brothers contracted other diseases and have since passed away. Growing up with hemophilia has been a difficult feat as our entire lives have been altered in ways that most people do not understand nor comprehend.
Hemophilia can be seen, as everything, as a positive or negative. I have experienced both sides where depression has impacted my life and I have experienced a level of extreme positivity that influences me to accomplish my dreams and goals regardless of the pain we experience and regardless of all the time we are told that we cannot do something. As a child, we are told many times that we cannot do certain things. As many hemophiliacs, we go through our rebellious stage where we intentionally find dangerous activities as a means to take control of our lives. I have participated in many activities that any hematologist would not agree with due to the risky nature of the activities I enjoy doing. As a child, I played 10 years of soccer, 10 years of baseball, a year of basketball, a year of martial arts, many years of snowboarding, a year of high school football, years of weight lifting and extreme cardio, free running, free mountain climbing where the use of safety equipment wasn't something I wanted to do as a means to strengthen myself more.
I feel every day I am risking my life just living with hemophilia so danger isn't something I have been accustomed too and I don't let danger or fear control what I want to do in life. As humans, we take risks daily, with or without hemophilia. I have understood that if I want to do these dangerous things then I need to physically prepare my body to be able to withstand the beating I will receive. The more muscle we have the more our joints and bodies are protected which is basic conditioning that is required to be active in any sport. I understood this concept and treated prophy as a means to reduce the amount of bleeds I would get.
With the life experiences I have gained wisdom from, I have made it my calling to help other people with chronic conditions to overcome adversity and help them build the mental and physical strength in order to be able to do the things in life they want to do. Everyone has dreams and goals and the fact that we have a severe chronic condition doesn't mean that we are not worthy of accomplishing ours. It is my civic duty to help people build the strength within themselves to be able to shoot for the stars and rise up above the rest and look at adversity and be able to overcome it with dedication and persistence.
Hemophilia makes us great leaders which is what this world needs more of. I believe everyone can accomplish their goals and I would love to be a part of their journey as they will be part of mine.
Your Blood Brother,