Involvement with BDFF: 12 Years
Coleman Safi tells it like it is. At just 12 years old, the Jacksonville seventh grader is not shy about relating his short-life story. Whether it’s recalling the good times or the not-so-memorable ones, Coleman loves to share his thoughts.
Diagnosed with severe Hemophilia A when he was seven months old, Coleman is an active boy. In fact, that is how doctors discovered his bleeding disorder.
“I started to have severe bruises from crawling on my knees and bumping into things,” he explains.
Coleman loves sports, but knows his Hemophilia puts a damper on participating. He feels “disabled” when it comes to contact sports and even sports with little contact such as basketball are now off limits.
“I twist my ankle too much,” he says. “But I love swimming. I was on the Bolles [School] swim team. I also love driving, fishing, shooting and playing video games.”
“He has a golf cart and a go cart,” explains his mom, Tiffiny Pinkstaff, a Jacksonville native.
And although Coleman is afraid of heights, he has been on a seaplane and took a helicopter ride in Orlando. Most recently, Coleman parasailed with his friend Matthew at Cocoa Beach.
Tiffany says the mom and son duo have been associated with the Foundation since Coleman was diagnosed.
“I was introduced to the Foundation by Missy,” says Tiffany. “She was very persistent about getting us into workgroups.”
“Missy is really great,” adds Coleman. “She taught me to self-infuse.”
Coleman is a regular at Camp Spirit at Camp Boggy Creek—this past summer was his fifth time attending the week-long getaway.
“I like the horseback riding and the food is really good, especially the spaghetti,” he says. “I like how all of the counselors are very caring and responsible. I also like being away from my mom for a week! “
Tiffany and Coleman have also attended the two-day weekend retreat and were part of the first-ever fundraising walk in Jacksonville.
But it’s been more than just fun and games. A concussion from falling from a bench. Numerous sprained ankles. A tonsillectomy with complications.
“We spent a lot of time in the emergency room when he was young,” says Tiffany, a place of which Coleman is not a fan.
“Once, I tried to jump out of the car going to the emergency room when I was four years old because they would dig inside me and it hurt.”
But as Coleman gets older, his episodes decrease and the faster he infuses after an incident.
“Catching things early as possible is the key,” says Tiffany.
“It’s been a long ride,” notes Coleman. “It is hard to deal with sometimes. You lose confidence in yourself. Am I ever sad about it? Many, many, many times. But I try to focus on something else. Hematology and oncology are on the same floor at the hospital and seeing a lot of kids with cancer does help me a little.”
Perspective. Not bad for a 12-year-old, but not surprising for a young man who just tells it like it is.
Participating and fundraising in walks like the Jacksonville Creepy Crawl help fund sending kids like Coleman to Camp Spirit and other resources they may need. Help kids bleeding disorders find independence through their health journey. Click here to register for the Jacksonville Creepy Crawl now.