Losing a Legend: Barry Haarde Passes Away at 52

The bleeding disorder community has suffered an unimaginable loss: Barry Haarde, the founder of the “Wheels for the World” campaign, passed away over the weekend. Haarde was just 52 years old.

MORE: New documentary explores what it’s like living with a bleeding disorder

Barry Haarde was born with severe hemophilia A in 1965. His hometown was small, and he didn’t have access to blood disorder treatment centers or factor concentrates. After living with hemophilia for more than 20 years, he was diagnosed with HIV in the late 1980s, after contracting the disease through a blood transfusion (even though he’d been told the risk was minimal for hemophiliacs).

Haarde certainly didn’t have it easy: in addition to HIV, he contracted hepatitis C which caused liver cirrhosis. He lost his brother-in-law to HIV and his brother to liver failure. After two life-changing losses, Haarde decided to make a change. In 2012, he started riding his bike around North America to raise awareness of hemophilia and funds for Save One Life, a non-profit organization that helps care for hemophiliacs in developing countries.

Over the past six years, Haarde rode more than 20,000 miles through 38 states and Canada, and raised more than $200,000 for hemophilia charities.

MORE: Why hemophilia is called a ‘royal disease’

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