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Walkers raise funds for medical research

Walking tall: Almost $4,000 was raised for medical research

More than two dozen walkers and their dogs participated as “Team Bermuda Gold” for an international walking event to raise awareness and funds for research for TTP.

TTP is the acronym for Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, a rare autoimmune blood disorder that is considered a medical emergency.

It affects three to four people per million people every year and is potentially fatal due to internal blood clotting that can damage critical organs including the brain, heart and kidneys.

Walkers joined forces to support their colleague Leila Madeiros who was diagnosed with TTP in 2012.

Ms Madeiros remembers getting flu-like symptoms before developing a severe headache and small bruises on her upper arms that began bleeding due to lack of platelets.

She was flown to Lahey to receive critical care — a plasma exchange which is the basic treatment of choice.

Ms Madeiros said: “Living with TTP has forever changed my life, stretched my faith, empowered my kids and demonstrated in so many tangible ways the love of family, friends and even strangers.

“I have had two relapses — one in 2013 and again this summer — but I have had tons of support, prayers, love and encouragement and feel so very blessed to have survived. With no known cure, many patients live in uncertainty and some in fear of the next relapse and what damage it may cause. Some patients are still losing their battle with TTP because of the lack of awareness and understanding of this disorder. My prayer is that research will ultimately help find a cure and can help to improve the current treatment regime.

“I am eternally grateful to my family, friends, work family ABIR for their support and love and am so very thankful for God’s protection and the doctors both at Lahey and here in Bermuda my GP Dr Catherine Wakely who monitors my health diligently”.

The walkers raised almost $4,000 towards the Answering TTP Foundation’s Global Goal of $30,000.

Anyone interested in further information can do so via: www.answeringttp.org