On Sunday, 27-year-old Abizar Colombowala will run to spread awareness about a rare disease he has been battling since birth.
Abizar, who is suffering from haemophilia -- a medical condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot, causing the patient to bleed severely from even a slight injury, has participated in the 6-km Dream Run at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.
With this, he wants to send out a message that the condition, if handled well, does not come in the way of living one’s life to the fullest.
Abizar, who cannot run a full or a half marathon and hence decided to go ahead under the Dream Run category, said his participation would boost the morale of many others.
Twice a month, he takes an injection of clotting factor 8, and medication whenever he bleeds.
The Andheri resident, who works for an advertising company, will be joined by his family and doctor during the marathon.
“We are running to support thousands like my son who suffer from haemophilia. Not many people know about the disease, and how it can be controlled,” said Zulfikar Colombowala, Abizar’s father.
Zulfikar recalled how the family came to know about his son’s condition within a month of his birth. "We noticed red spots on his body; that’s when the doctors gave us the news. We learnt that it is genetic. Since then, we have kept him under constant medication and support him in every way possible,” he added.
Dr Devila Sahu, Abizar’s doctor, started the Mumbai chapter of Haemophilia Society, a non-governmental organisation that helps such patients. “If people start understanding the disease, half the battle will be won,” he said.