Matt Jajeh is the starting Center for the Serra Padres Basketball squad. The team is on a quest for a state title this year, competing in the exclusive Open Division in the CIF Playoffs. And while Matthew would prefer to hoist the California-shaped trophy in two weeks, he's won many battles in his life. Matt is a hemophiliac.
Jajeh's family discovered his condition shortly after he was born when doctors couldn't stop the bleeding following a routine procedure. Matt is missing factor VIII, meaning his blood won't clot at all naturally. If he were to get a deep cut or gash, he would just keep bleeding. Fortunately, for Matt and his family, medicine was developed shortly before Matt was born, allowing him to live with the ailment.
Mark and Shelley Jajeh – Matt's parents – wanted him to live a normal life and take responsibility for his blood disorder. The medicine he has to take is administered through injection, a task Matthew has handled independently since he was six. Matt has grown up with Hemophilia but has still managed to do most of what other kids can do. He wasn't allowed to play contact sports but has latched on to the game of basketball – where he is key player for the Padres.
As long as Matt injects himself daily, he'll continue to bang around in the paint with little fear or concern. Hemophilia is just part of life for him. A battle he wins every day.
To find out more, Jajeh will be featured as part of the Spirit of Achievement series Tuesday on Cal Hi Sports Bay Area on CSN-California