Dear all. I'm Robbert-Jan 't Hoen, a 20 years old student of Econometrics from Schiedam. Just like the rest of the team, I was born with a rare blood clotting disease. Born on 1 december 1994, the doctors found out on Christmas Eve there is another reason for all those bruises – severe hemophilia a. Then I experienced everything the hospital has to offer: an inhibitor (medications were no longer effective), intraveneous injections, hospital admissions of hours, days or weeks. "Your child has nothing, he looks so healthy!". My parents practically lived in the hospital.
Swimming. Every Sunday my father and I went swimming in the local swimming pool. Front crawl, breast stroke, diving. I could do it all. In the pool I could use my joints, strengthen my muscles and join in with the rest. Afterwards, while showering, my dad had to put with with many people who thought he couldn’t keep his hands to himself, but to him it was worth it. So, my first experiences while engaging in sports were very positive and even helped with the prevention of bleeds, through the protection of joints and the strengthening of muscles. Later I started playing chess and today I’m quite fanatic about tennis. I also cycle a lot, even though a one-way ticket to Norway is outside my comfort zone.
The most I ever cycled in one day, was in France. On a nice day during our holiday, it was
36 degrees that day, my father and I decided to rent mountain bikes and go cycling
through the mountains.. More than 100 km and possibly 100 bottles of water later we
came back to the camp site. That's what I see in sports. A possibility to surprise yourself,
push out your boundaries and just do!
When I was asked to take part in ' blood relatives ' I had no doubt. Of course I find it very
important to draw more attention to blood clotting diseases. There is still more research
needed on medications and treatment methods that can give patients a better life.