A FITNESS fan with a rare blood disorder is gearing up for a gruelling charity challenge.
Carl Sanderson, 41, from Washington, was diagnosed with haemophilia as a baby and over the years has learnt to manage the disorder, which prevents his blood from clotting properly.
Despite the stigma which surrounds those who have the disease taking part in sports, he’s setting out on a marathon mission to complete 16 Tough Mudder obstacle courses over eight weekends.
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.
The dad-of-three, of Oxclose, said: “I’ve met others with the condition through things like Facebook and I get really 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 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 all depends on the severity of it. I’m mild to moderate so I can treat myself at home if I get internal bleeding, which I do with an injection into my veins,
“People always 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.”
Carl began to step up his fitness to mark his 40th birthday and set about raising money for various causes.
The security officer’s latest challenge, taking on Britain’s various Tough Mudder courses, 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit, will be his toughest to date.
He will complete the courses between May and September to raise funds for the RVI Newcastle Haemophilia Centre to buy a scanner and help to brighten a children’s room.
Carl, who is dad to Kai, 17, Cole, nine, and Connie, seven, said: “I want to educate people about the condition. I’m not saying everyone can do what I’m doing, but it’s worth discussing it with a local Haemophilia Centre to discuss your capabilities. They’ve been a great help to me, which is why I’m doing this to help them.”
l To sponsor Carl visit www.justgiving.com/CarlSanderson or text CARL73 and the amount to 70070.