Have you heard of ITP? - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Have you heard of ITP?


ITP stands for immune thrombocytopenia. It's an autoimmune platelet disease that most have never heard of.

"Well that was probably the scariest moment of my life," Wetumpka resident Morgan Parshall said.

It was a regular check-up at the doctor two years ago that left Morgan Parshall with a fear of losing her 5-year-old son Trenton.

"His platelet count was dangerously low," Parshall said.

24,000 was the count. Doctors say a normal platelet county is between 150,000 to 450,000.

"He was at risk for internal bleeding," Parshall said.

Test after test, and finally doctors discovered he has a rare platelet disorder called ITP. 

"So that basically means that you have low platelets which can cause bleeding complications in patients," Children's of Alabama Doctor Kimberly Whelan said.

So far Trenton's mom says he's only had nose bleeds and bruising.

"It doesn't discriminate with race or sex, any child can get this," Parshall said.

Doctors says the disease can go away, but for some kids like Trenton, it becomes chronic and regular treatments are needed.

"We don't exactly under why someone develops ITP, but often time it will be a viral illness that will preceded it," Dr. Whelan said.

Trenton's doctor is Kimberly Whelan. He travels to Birmingham about every 6 weeks for hours of treatment.

"3,000 children are diagnosed annual who are under the age of 16 with ITP," Dr. Whelan said.

He's running around now and for the most part lives a normal life. He knows he doesn't feel good at times and it because of ITP.

"It's when your blood goes down and up," 5-year-old Trenton Parshall said.

But his mom is hoping for an improvement, while spreading awareness about the disease.

Trenton attends Redland Elementary but due to disorder, was not able to participate in sports.

Doctors say adults can also acquire ITP. They say usually in adults, it coincides with an underline autoimmune illness.

For more information on this disorder and the National Patient Advocacy organization for ITP, please visit www.pdsa.org

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