PHILADELPHIA, May 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA), a nonprofit organization focused on improving the understanding and care of people affected by life-threatening blood clots, is proud to introduce Katie Hoff, Olympic swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist, as the first official ambassador for its Sports & Wellness Institute.
"We established the NBCA Sports & Wellness Institute to meet the needs of people who are at risk for serious blood clots, or who have been diagnosed with blood clots, so that they can access the many benefits provided by exercise and sports in maintaining or regaining their health," explains Charles Sano, a member of NBCA's Board of Directors and Chair of its Sports & Wellness Institute, as well as the survivor of a blood clot in his lung for whom sports played an instrumental role in his recovery. "Many people who experience blood clots – both professional athletes and weekend warriors alike – want to resume athletic activity after a blood clot diagnosis, and we know that Katie Hoff can lend her expertise and inspirational insights to help them achieve their goals."
The NBCA Sports & Wellness Institute was established to help people understand and manage important lifestyle factors, like exercise and fitness, following a blood clot diagnosis, and provides information and resources to help people get back on track or to establish important new fitness routines.
"I am both grateful and honored to serve as the first ambassador to the NBCA Sports & Wellness Institute," Hoff says. "I know how frightening a blood clot diagnosis can be, and I look forward to helping to increase awareness to potentially save lives, and to help improve the lives of people who, like me, have experienced blood clots."
As an eight-time World Champion who holds the current American record for the 400-meter individual medley and previously held the American records for the 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle, Hoff was diagnosed with potentially life-threatening blood clots in her lungs in 2014. The severe pain leading up to this diagnosis forced her to withdraw abruptly from the National Championship that year and then, given the lung damage caused by this clotting, she retired from swimming in 2015.
"The disappointment I experienced was overshadowed only by the fear and confusion I felt when I learned that I had blood clots in my lungs," Katie explains. "I was young, in peak condition as an Olympic athlete and, overnight, everything changed. I understand the dramatic impact blood clots can have on people's lives, including their mental health, and I want to offer my insights as an athlete to help support their recovery efforts. As a woman, I also am committed to raising awareness about the different blood clot risks women face at different points in their life."
Blood clots do not discriminate. They can affect anyone, although people are often surprised when an athlete, particularly of Hoff's caliber, are affected. Several major risk factors for blood clots exist, such as hospitalization and cancer, for example, but athletes, particularly endurance or high-performing athletes, also face risks due to Injury, immobility for long haul travel to competitive events, dehydration, and repetitive motion.
NBCA's Sports & Wellness Institute plans to expand its resources and programs in upcoming weeks and months. To learn more, view the NBCA Sports & Wellness Institute online here. People should always consult with their healthcare provider before starting any new exercise or athletic routines, particularly if they have been diagnosed with a blood clot or clotting disorder. To learn more about blood clot risk factors and the signs and symptoms of blood clots, visit NBCA at www.stoptheclot.org.
SOURCE National Blood Clot Alliance