HAMMONTON, N.J. (CBS) –There is new hope for people with hemophilia, where any little injury can trigger life-threatening bleeding. There is a new medication that is being called a game changer.
This medication is good news for many, including 11-year-old Bobby Corgliano, who loves sports but has had a life filled with injections and constant worry.
Like many 11-year-olds, the Hammonton native is looking forward to the upcoming soccer season.
“We won the championship,” he says while admiring some of his mementos.
But with his sports mementos comes memories of painful injections he would have to get for his hemophilia.
“Whenever I had a needle right here [in his right wrist], it always hit the bone, so then we used to always go here [his left arm],” Bobby says.
He was born with the condition that makes him prone to excessive bleeding.
“The biggest fear is brain bleeding,” Bobby’s mother, September Corgliano, says.
To prevent bleeding, the 11-year-old had to routinely get intravenous injections.
“It was chaos trying to get him stuck, because his veins were very tricky to stick,” Corgliano added. “Sometimes, he would be stuck for one dose of medicine three or four times.”
Even though they tried to make the ordeal more tolerable with a sticker-filled stick chart, needles hurt.
“Tears, lots of tears, stress, it was hard for me seeing him get upset. Nobody wants to see their kid get upset, especially for something like that, you feel like you’re torturing them,” Corgliano said.
Their salvation came with a newly approved drug called Hemlibra. With this new drug, there are fewer doses, with a much smaller needle that does not need to be injected into a vein.
“Subcutaneous, fatty tissue wherever you can get in the arm, belly, or leg. It’s a no brainer, it’s just so easy,” Corgliano says.
Now, instead of countless sticks, Bobby takes his new medication twice a month.
“Does this make your life a lot easier?” CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl asked Bobby. “Yes,” replied the sixth grader.
Whether it’s coloring with his sister or cannonballs in the pool, Bobby no longer has to worry about the painful injections.
Hemophilia is a very rare inherited disease that prevents the blood from clotting normally. There is no cure, but doctors say with treatment, people like 11-year-old Bobby can live healthy lives.