Living with a chronic bleeding disorder is not easy, but Jennifer Cox has an excellent attitude about daily life with von Willebrand disease. That positive outlook is largely a result of the support she receives from family and her benign hematology team at the OSUCCC — James.
Jennifer, 33, of Groveport, Ohio, was born with von Willebrand disease, a disorder that affects how well her blood clots. Nearly everyone who has the disease inherits it from a parent. Jennifer’s father also has the disease.
Throughout her childhood, Jennifer went to a children’s hospital in Columbus for treatment. Around her 18th birthday, she transferred to OSUCCC — James for adult care.
Jennifer has Type 2 von Willebrand disease, which means the substance in her blood that helps platelets stick together to form clots doesn’t work well. She also has a platelet storage pool disorder, which can cause excessive bleeding.
“Breakthrough bleeding” can cause complications, and patients with the disorder need lifelong care. Jennifer’s husband gives her factor replacement therapy through a port every three days. She also visits to Dr. Eric Kraut at the OSUCCC — James.
“I did not always get treatment for bleeds when I was younger,” said Jennifer. She was busy working and had trouble fitting in care for her disease. “Now I’m paying for it with joints that have gone bad,” she said.
She now receives injections every six months at the OSUCCC — James to help ward off the need for knee replacement surgery. It’s one of many services Jennifer receives at the OSUCCC — James. Because of her disease, even dental care can present complications, so The James staff coordinates most aspects of Jennifer’s health care.
“They are so convenient,” she said. “Social workers, physical therapists, you have everyone coming, and they handle all aspects of your needs,” she said. The staff even helped arrange dental insurance for her, and it’s here where she sees her knee surgeon.
Jennifer knows she is receiving attentive care from Dr. Kraut and the OSUCCC — James team. “Dr. Kraut is so down to earth and easy to talk to,” she said. “And he and the staff see to every point of my care. They make sure everything is taken care of.”