A dad with a rare blood disorder is half way through a challenge to tackle some of the country’s toughest obstacle courses.
From plunging into ice baths to scaling 10ft walls across a gruelling 12-mile course, Carl Sanderson, 41, from Washington is taking a series of Tough Mudders in his stride.
He’s just embarked on the seventh and eighth of 16 courses, which take place across the UK and Ireland.
As well as raising money for RVI Newcastle Haemophilia Centre, he’s taken on the feat to raise awareness of haemophilia and show that it shouldn’t be a limit to fitness.
The dad-of-three from Oxclose was diagnosed with the condition as a baby and over the years has learnt to manage the disorder, which prevents his blood from clotting properly.
He’s determined to fight the stigma for those who have the disease taking part in sports with his Bleeding Tough campaign.
The security officer, who is married to Lisa, said: “I’ve taken part in two course in London, two in the midlands and two in Scotland, then Dublin at the weekend. It’s going really well, I’m really enjoying them.”
At the end of the feat, he hopes to raise enough sponsorship to go to Las Vegas and become one of the only haemophiliacs to have ever competed in the World’s Toughest Mudder.
Carl, who is dad to Kai, 17, Cole, ten, and Connie, seven, said: “It’s helping to raise awareness, but there’s still more to be done. I’ve been chatting to people at the courses from different backgrounds and jobs and they’ve been interested in learning more about it. It’s certainly helping to get the message out there.
He added: “I’ve met others with the condition through things like Facebook and I get annoyed when young lads are told not to do things like play football by their teachers or GPs.
Treatment has become so advanced in the past 40 years, but people’s attitudes haven’t changed with itCarl Sanderson
“Treatment has become so advanced in the past 40 years, but people’s attitudes haven’t changed with it. Where once I had to sit in hospital with a drip for 40 minutes, I can now self-medicate at home. People don’t need to be wrapped up in cotton wool.
“I’ve lived a full life, I’ve been a doorman, I’ve done martial arts. The only thing I haven’t been able to do is join the Armed Forces.”
Speaking about the condition, Carl, who is married to Lisa, said: “It’s a hereditary condition and the way it’s treated depends on the severity. I’m mild to moderate so can treat myself if I get internal bleeding, which I do with an injection.
“People ask if I get a nosebleed will I bleed to death, but it’s not like that.
“It’s more spontaneous bleeds, I could be lying in bed and get a warm feeling in my veins, which is a sign of internal bleeding.”
•To sponsor Carl visit www.justgiving.com/CarlSanderson or text CARL73 and the amount to 70070.