Team Natalie and Michael’s story
We will be running our first half marathon in Paddock Wood on 5th April for the ITP Association and our dad Paul, who ran the same half marathon in 2013. It is a small charity which supports people with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), a rare blood condition which affects 3000-3500 people in the UK.
The auto-immune condition causes the body to destroy platelets which are found in blood. The cause is unknown and it can cause spontaneous bruising and bleeding.
In May 2016, our dad was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage and spent a month in Maidstone and Kings College London hospital receiving treatment.
Dad's platelet levels were so low he needed platelet transfusions and was at risk of further bleeding. Luckily tests found that the bleed in the brain had been caused by ITP and he was started on rescue medication.
Luckily dad recovered from his haemorrhage, but he has to manage ongoing symptoms from ITP such as fatigue and due to the risks of further bleeding he had to medically retire.
Luckily research has developed the drug 'Eltrombopag' which dad responds well to. He had been taking this daily for the last 3 years, and he will have to take this for the rest of his life. This medication is very expensive, each tablet costs about £55, but it keeps him and many other people alive.
As a very active man dad struggled with the dramatic change to his capabilities. He found the support from the ITP Association invaluable. They have helped them to understand and come to terms with his condition, and taught him how to manage his symptoms and the side effects of his medication.
We would like to raise awareness of the condition and to thank the ITP Association for the support they have provided dad. We would be grateful if you could spare some pennies to allow this small charity to continue to support other families and develop further treatments for the condition.