Mountain Biker Geoff Eckert Shares The Alarming Way He Discovered A Genetic Blood Disorder
Geoff Eckert started BMX racing when he was in the second grade. So in October 2019, as an avid mountain biker with 30-40 years of experience, when Geoff felt cramping in his leg, he just assumed it was a part of the normal aches and pains associated with intense rides or perhaps a recent crash.
It wasn’t until he was struggling to breathe while riding on a downhill grade a couple of months later that he realized something was very wrong.
After getting some blood tests done, Geoff’s doctor called him and advised he head to the emergency room as soon as possible for treatment of dangerous blood clots in his lungs. On his way to the ER, Geoff asked his doctor what the worst case scenario would be for his condition. “He actually said, ‘You could drop dead right now,’” Geoff remembers.
Geoff had developed blood clots in the deep veins of his leg, also known as DVT. The blood clots then broke off and traveled through his blood stream into both of his lungs, impacting his breathing and threatening his life.
Luckily Geoff received treatment before the pulmonary embolism worsened. After sharing the diagnosis with family, Geoff heard from his aunt that she suffers from a genetic blood disorder called factor V Leiden. Geoff got some tests done and discovered that he has the same condition, and has had it for his entire life.
Factor V Leiden is a mutation of the clotting factors in the blood and can increase an affected individual’s risk of developing an abnormal blood clot in the legs or lungs. Geoff now takes blood thinning medication to reduce his risk of developing another blood clot, and checks in with his doctors frequently. He has to stay on top of his condition to make sure he stays healthy and can care for his young son. But after everything he’s been through, he’s just happy to be alive each day.
“No matter how bad things are, I'm always thankful to wake up and be on the earth,” Geoff said. “I love it here.”
Watch the video about his journey here: