FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Khalil Dance left Indiana and stepped out of his comfort zone to spread awareness about hemophilia which is a bleeding disorder he was diagnosed with very young. It's where blood clots can form easily and become extremely severe if untreated.
"It was very different than being in Indiana. Like there was a lot more people, a lot more busier. like usually you can walk across the street in Indiana anywhere, but you have to watch out for cars in New York all the time," Dance explained.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said hemophilia occurs in about 1 in 5,000 live births. There are about 20,000 people with hemophilia in the U.S of all races and ethnic groups.
He and 24 other teens showed what it's like to live with it through song and dance on Broadway.
"We all kind of felt like we belonged there. We all shared something. We didn't feel afraid to talk about hemophilia like we would be with other people who wouldn't understand," he said.
The production was brought forth by BioMarin Pharmaceutical Incorporated, and believe unlimited. Both companies are trying to make the scientific connection between the arts and healing through this musical.
"One of our vocal coaches Paul said we're telling our story like we have to own it, and that's exactly what we did," he added.
"There's a lot of people that don't know anything about hemophilia. I couldn't believe my son was on a broadway stage performing," Khalil’s mother, Malita, said.
There isn't a cure for hemophilia but through spreading more awareness, they are hoping to find one. BioMarin is currently working on developing gene therapy for what Khalil has.
"For other kids out there, that have something related to hemophilia, something they want to hide, don't be afraid to share what you have," Dance said
Khalil said after conquering Broadway, show choir competitions are up next.
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