Michael Nolan is this week's Believe in it® Athlete. Michael is a central defensive midfielder in Charlotte, North Carolina. He plays for SCAA Carolina Rush Red - Tigers U14.
Michael plays competitive soccer despite having Severe Hemophilia A, which is also called Factor VIII deficiency.
This is what Michael's dad had to say, "Hemophiliacs are often referred to as "Free Bleeder" because they cannot stop bleeding from bruises or cuts on their own. He takes an IV(intravenous infusion) every other day to keep his Factor VIII protein levels up so he can stop bleeding from cuts and bruises. Michael has worked hard to become a better dribbler, passer and juggler(still working on that one). He has started watching OSA videos to try and become a better player. Michael does not let Hemophilia hold him back. His goal is just to be like everybody else...normal. Playing competitive soccer with no limitations helps him feel normal.
He plays Center Defensive Mid and wears #8 in honor of the great Steven Gerrard of Liverpool fame, who he got to watch play live in Charlotte last month at Bank of America Stadium in the International Champion's Cup vs. AC Milan. He plays nearly all of the 70 minutes during his matches and does his best to hold the middle and help his Attacking Mid, Wingers and Forwards score the ball.
Michael was born in Covington, LA and has been living in Charlotte, NC for the past 10 years. He has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old. He started playing competitively last season at the U12 age group. We were not sure his body would hold up under the pressure of 90 minute training sessions and all of the rigorous workouts. But, so far so good. He is on his way to becoming a solid soccer player! His mother and I are both very proud of him and his efforts to play competitively!"
Congrats Michael! The Believe in it® team and I are proud of you too. Keep up the good work!