Haemophilia Society Launches Buddy Award

By The Haemophilia Society, PRNE
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

LONDON, May 4, 2011 - As part of its work to increase awareness of the challenges faced
by people with bleeding disorders, the Haemophilia Society today launched its
Buddy Award scheme, with the help of Dick and Dom, at a packed launch event
at the House of Commons.

The annual awards have been created to recognise the vital
support provided by the families, carers, friends and teachers of children
with bleeding disorders. With sponsorship from Novo Nordisk (which has
specialist expertise in this therapy area), the event involved a photo shoot
outside Parliament, where MPs and young people with bleeding disorders were
joined by the popular comedy duo, Dick and Dom (BBC Children's TV presenters
Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood).

A cross-party group of 35 parliamentarians, as well as some 150
youngsters and their parents, attended the subsequent lunch reception, hosted
by Owen Smith MP. The launch was enlivened by an entertaining speech from
Dick and Dom and a passionate call to arms from the chief executive of the
Haemophilia Society, Chris James. Novo Nordisk's UK Managing Director, Viggo
, also spoke at the event.

"The fact that most people know little or nothing about bleeding
disorders can cause real problems - especially for children", said Chris
. "These awards not only recognise the vital support children get from
those around them but I hope they will also help more people understand what
life is really like for children with bleeding disorders."

The lack of public awareness of such disorders means that
families and friends take on a great deal of responsibility for their
sibling/friend and this often goes unnoticed, and the awards celebrate the
invaluable contribution they make while also drawing public attention to the
plight of this vulnerable and often forgotten patient group.

To pave the way for the presentation of the first crop of Buddy
Awards at a formal ceremony later this year, nomination forms were
distributed and the young people took advantage of the opportunity to chat
with MPs and take away a personal souvenir photo of a very special day.

Editor's notes:

About the Haemophilia Society

The Haemophilia Society is an independent national organisation that
works with the NHS to provide information and support for people with
bleeding disorders.

About Novo Nordisk

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company
with 87 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also
has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and
hormone replacement therapy. For more information, visit novonordisk.com.

About Haemophilia

Haemophilia is a congenital bleeding disorder that affects males. It is
estimated that about 400,000 males have Haemophilia A or B.

Patients with haemophilia A have either absent, decreased or defective
production of the blood clotting protein, Factor VIII (FVIII). Those with
haemophilia B have similar problems with Factor IX (FIX). Haemophilia is
characterised as "severe" when the activity of the affected clotting factor
(FVIII or FIX) is less than 1% of normal. Severe Haemophilia is often
associated with spontaneous bleeding, i.e. not caused by injury.
Approximately 50% of haemophilia patients have severe disease and can require
treatment for bleeding several times per month.

Severe haemophilia usually becomes apparent in the first years of life -
often as the child starts to move about independently. Haemorrhages often
occur in the joints, particularly knees and ankles. These joint bleeds can
cause severe pain and often permanent damage and disability if not treated
properly. In addition, trauma, major surgery, tooth extractions or other
minor surgical interventions require medical intervention to manage the
associated bleeding.

One of the most feared complications of the treatment of haemophilia is
the development of 'inhibitors'. 'Inhibitors' are antibodies to FVIII or FIX
that can develop in patients with haemophilia. The incidence of inhibitors
complicating treatment of haemophilia A and B is approximately 30% in
haemophilia A and 3 to 5% in haemophilia B patients. Most of these antibodies
develop during childhood. The management of haemophilia patients with
inhibitors is difficult.

A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA
Photowire. It can be downloaded from www.pa-mediapoint.press.net
or viewed at www.mediapoint.press.net or

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