‘Bombardier Blood,’ Film of Hemophiliac Who Climbed Everest and 7 Summits, Set for April 14 in NYC

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by Mary Chapman |

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Chris Bombardier

Chris Bombardier, a hemophiliac, is readying to climb Mount Vinson in Antarctica. (Courtesy of Business Wire)

The remarkable journey of Chris Bombardier, the first hemophiliac to reach the pinnacle of Mount Everest and the Seven Summits, will be shown in a free screening April 14 in New York City.

Sponsored by Octapharma USA, the documentary “Bombardier Blood” will be presented by the New York City Hemophilia Chapter (NYCHC) and the international non-profit Save One Life at 1:30 p.m. at the AMC Empire in Times Square. The event is timed to World Hemophilia Day on April 17.

At a reception following the screening, attendees will be able to ask questions of Bombardier and film director James Lynch, who also has hemophilia. Joining them will be executive producer Alex Borstein, best known for her acting on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Go here for ticket information.

“Octapharma believes that people with hemophilia can achieve great things in life when they get the medical care they need, so we were really proud to be able to support Chris on his inspiring journey,” Flemming Nielsen, Octapharma USA president, said in a press release.

“‘Bombardier Blood’ is a call to action for all of us, particularly the bleeding disorders community, to find our own Everest and an experience that should not be missed,” Nielsen added.

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of human protein products, Octapharma also sponsored the documentary as well as Bombardier’s 2017 scaling of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, and of Mount Vinson in Antarctica. The latter climb rounded out Bombardier’s quest to conquer the highest peak on each continent. Just over 400 climbers in history have done that; he’s the first with hemophilia.

As told in the documentary, Bombardier, a Colorado native, got involved with mountain climbing after his uncle urged him to discover new hobbies and outdoor activities. While he immediately enjoyed climbing, the goal to scale the seven summits arose in 2011, after a visit to Kenya. He had gone there to help establish a diagnostic lab for hemophilia, and accepted the challenge to climb Kilimanjaro. He soon realized that while his having access to medical care and proper treatment afforded him the chance to climb Africa’s highest peak, local hemophiliacs had little to no such access.

“Sharing the film in Times Square with the New York City Hemophilia Chapter is going to be incredibly special,” Bombardier said. “Not only will this venue be incredible, partnering with Octapharma and the chapter for the event will help bring awareness to the drastic disparity in bleeding disorders treatment globally and help further Save One Life’s mission of bringing impactful and lasting change to underserved communities.”

Diagnosed at birth with hemophilia B, Bombardier climbed each mountain to heighten awareness of hemophilia — particularly in developing countries — and to show that hemophiliacs can accomplish physically demanding pursuits. When he climbed, he had to bring intravenous infusions to help clot his blood if he had an injury that causes bleeding.

“I want everyone to feel the inspiration and possibilities created by Chris’s climb,” said Jeremy Griffin, NYCHC’s executive director. “The film, to me, is about pushing boundaries to a new horizon where global access to care is a reality, and cures for bleeding disorders are finally within our reach. Seeing this incredible journey will help you understand that nothing is impossible.

Save One Life provides financial aid to individuals with bleeding disorders in 13 developing countries, where patients are in need of access to life-sustaining blood-clotting therapy.