Two young boys are crediting a centre at the University of Alberta for giving them the chance to play sports, even with their blood disorder.

The boys, seven-year-old Leo Rosselli and 10 year-old Paolo Rosselli, both have hemophilia, a serious disorder that occurs when the blood lacks a protein it needs to normally clot.

Both risk bleeding for long periods of time if they’re ever injured. If there is internal bleeding, the brothers risk damaging critical organs and tissues.

But through specialized training and care that is offered at the Dr. John Akabutu Comprehensive Centre for Bleeding Disorders, the brothers can live healthy lifestyles, said their mother, Jamie Pytel.

“They’ve been lucky so far when they play sports and when they get injured, they have to take more care than the average patient in terms of getting better,” said Pytel.

“You also need to keep them physically active to keep their joints and their bodies healthy.”

The centre, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has trained Pytel in administering a prophylactic clotting factor — a medication that allows blood to clot — through the boys’ chests three times a week.

“A lot of patients would be in emergency rooms many times of the year before this centre began,” said Dr. Nancy Dower, who has been with the centre for eight years. “Now these patients can live normal lifestyles.”

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