March brings awareness to bleeding disorders


March is officially designated as Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month due to advocacy efforts of the National Hemophilia Foundation.

The mission of the organization is to raise funds and critical awareness to improve the lives of those diagnosed with a bleeding disorder.

According to, bleeding disorders are a group of disorders that share the inability to form a proper blood clot. Symptoms include extended bleeding after injury, surgery or trauma.

Sometimes, the bleeding is spontaneous without a known or identifiable cause, and some bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia, can be inherited or acquired.

Others can occur from such conditions as anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, HIV, leukemia or vitamin K deficiency or from certain medications that thin the blood.

Seymour resident Monty Casner, 54, suffers from a bleeding disorder but is unsure of what kind because he still hasn’t been diagnosed.

“They’ve pulled 20 vials of blood and sent them to Mayo Clinic but still can’t diagnose,” he said. “All I know is that it is probably a genetic clotting disorder.”

It was about 14 years ago when his first deep-vein thrombosis was discovered.

DVT occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. The condition can cause leg pain or swelling but also can occur with no symptoms, according to

“I don’t know of anybody else in my family that has this problem,” Casner said. “I’ve had two DVTs, and they came extremely close to breaking and causing a pulmonary embolism or stroke.”

He is on a high dose of Coumadin and takes 13mlgs of the medication daily and has taken up to 20mlgs in the past.

“I have to be very careful of cuts because I could potentially bleed to death,” Casner said. “This has also caused me a great deal of pain in my legs.”

He has to have a monthly test to check his blood thickness level. The test is called an international normalized ratio, and the level needs to be around 2.0 to 3.0. If the number is below that range, he could develop another clot or bleed internally.

“Blood disorders are not entirely caused by drug misuse. Some of us are born with it,” he said. “I have to watch my diet carefully, and hydration is also a key factor.”

Casner worked for 23 years as a driver for Coca-Cola before retiring. He lives in Seymour with his wife, Missy, and they have two daughters, one son and another son is deceased.

He said the disorder is genetic, but so far, they haven’t seen any signs of it being passed down to their kids.

Paige Bush, 30, also has bleeding disorders. She grew up in Jackson County, where she still resides with her husband, Michael Bush, and son, Brylin.

She is a paramedic supervisor for Scott County Emergency Medical Services and a firefighter for the Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department.

“I was 16 and a junior in high school when I was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, a week before soccer sectional,” Bush said. “I had gotten pretty sick and had gone to my local doctor, and they sent me to Columbus to a hematologist.”

She was sent to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis after her bleeding disorder was discovered.

“I spent a good amount of time up at Riley for several years until I aged out, and then they sent me to IU,” Bush said. “Recently, I switched to the Hemophilia Treatment Center, which is part of Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.”

She has hemophilia A and von Willebrand, which are similar except for clotting factors and both are genetic.

“In my case, I get a lot of muscle bleeds and joints bleeds, and it wouldn’t matter if I sit behind a desk every day or go out to do other things,” Bush said. “I’m going to get those bleeds regardless, and the joint swells up and can be painful, and sometimes, it might be caused by an injury.”

Hemophiliacs don’t bleed faster than other people. They just bleed longer since they don’t have the appropriate clotting factors.

For treatment, Bush gets factor infusions, 3,500 units every day through IVs and all replacement clotting factor treatments are infused.

“Twice a week, I go to Schneck (Medical Center) and get three units of plasma, also by IV, and occasionally, I have to get platelets on top of all that, just depending on what’s going on,” she said.

For the most part, the treatment keeps things in check for Bush, although she still gets spontaneous bleeds.

“I have always been pretty active, growing up on a farm and playing sports year-round when I was in school,” she said. “At the point when I was diagnosed, I’d made my mind up that my condition hadn’t killed me yet, so it probably wasn’t going to.”

The doctor at Riley had told Bush she would never play soccer again when she had already signed her letter of intent to play in college. She told him, “Well, that’s going to change because I am going to play.”

“The older I’ve gotten, it has kind of gotten a little worse, and I probably do everything a hemophiliac shouldn’t do as far as being on the fire department, working EMS, riding my dirt bikes and four-wheeler, but I just have to take a few extra precautions than the typical person,” she said.

Because Bush works in health care, she knows how to handle the situation a little better in case she has an injury.

“I don’t have to go to the ER or doctor every time I get hurt or get cut, and I kind of know my limit, but if it gets too bad, Dr. Amanda Dick at Schneck is phenomenal,” she said. “Back around 2010, she kind of took me under her wing shortly after she came to Schneck.”

Bush said Dick has been right there with her every step of the way and speaks to her hematologist, Dr. Anne Greist, at HTC on a weekly basis.

“Any time I ever need anything, I can call Dr. Amanda and tell her what’s going on, and I couldn’t be more thankful that she’s at Schneck,” Bush said.

Bush feels education about bleeding disorders is crucial as well as bringing awareness to the community.

“After I was diagnosed, I made it my mission to educate people, especially in Jackson County,” she said. “When I was in high school, there wasn’t a lot of information out there about hemophilia and von Willebrand. My life kind of came to a stop.”

The disorder has been in Bush’s family for several generations, but she is the only one who has ever had enough of an issue with it to require continual treatment and take medication.

“I know other people in the community that live with this every day, and some of them are kids,” she said. “I think it’s important for the school staff and any adults these kids are in contact with to know what to do in case something was to happen.”

No matter what kind of disorder or medical issues kids have, they need to know it’s OK to be different, she said.

“I coach boys soccer at Brownstown, and I tell those boys all the time, ‘Every one of us has something that makes us special or different from one another,'” Bush said. “I just want to encourage kids that even though they might be different, they can still do a lot of things.”

Her advice is to not let anybody tell you that you can’t live your dreams just because you have an illness.

“The older I get, people tell me I shouldn’t do this or that, but I’ve made it my mission to prove them wrong, but obviously, if there’s something I know is dangerous, I’m not going to do it,” Bush said.

She encourages everybody who might be living with a medical condition.

“They can still live their life, and it’s going to be tough and not an easy road to run, but I’ve never let hemophilia or von Willebrand define who I was or what I could or couldn’t do,” Bush said.

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Information about bleeding disorders is available online at, and


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