You might not think to put “haemophilia” and “weightlifting” in the same sentence, but for Tim Demos this has been a way to develop his passion for exercise and keeping healthy.
Tim is in his mid 20s and has severe haemophilia A. He has been a full-time paramedic for the past 5 years and describes himself as “feeling passionately” about physical exercise. He explains that paramedics have one of the highest rates of work-related injuries compared to many other jobs and therefore, staying healthy is very important to him regardless of having haemophilia.
He played basketball for over 10 years and although he “loved every moment of it”, he experienced reoccurring bleeds and it left his ankles in a “less than perfect condition”. He doesn’t regret playing basketball, but when he finished playing, he needed to find a new form of exercise, and then came weightlifting. Regular exercise and its influence on mental and social health and wellbeing is very important to him: “exercise helps you maintain a happy and healthy state of mind”.
Tim is no stranger to setbacks and explains that there have been times when he has been recovering from a bleed and had to change his exercise from weightlifting to swimming “certainly not my first preference of exercise but it’s about training smartly and with purpose”.
For Tim, having haemophilia has taught him how to persevere with his exercise regime.
“I was in and out of hospital in Year 9 and it was a pretty rough time for me. It has taken a lot of perseverance, and it’s a condition that means you learn very quickly to have a certain level of resilience.”
These are life lessons he is happy to share with other young people with bleeding disorders.
“As a kid I remember coming to the realization in primary school that hang on not everyone has this… and then you realize you are pretty different. I got involved in the family camps as a young kid and that was probably one of the best things for me – meeting other kids with haemophilia.”
Tim continues to attend the camps as a Youth Leader and has been a role model for many younger kids.