Local teen to share what it’s like living with bleeding disorder in upcoming musical

Sailor Leach. | Courtesy Robin Leach

RIGBY — A Rigby teenager with a bleeding disorder is taking center stage to discuss a topic that’s near and dear to her heart.

Sailor Leach, 15, was born with Von Willebrand disease, which is a lifelong bleeding disorder where a person’s blood doesn’t clot well, mayo clinic explains. Leach, along with her mother and five of the parent’s six children have the disorder, but it varies in severity between each of them.

Sailor said there are lots of misconceptions made by people when it comes to bleeding disorders. That’s part of why she auditioned in January for a musical that’s featuring kids with these disorders. In February, she found out she was accepted as part of the cast, and since then, she’s been waiting for the day to shine a light on a topic that’s less talked about.

“(The musical is) to bring awareness,” she said. “It’s about life as a teenager with a bleeding disorder going through high school.”

Sailor is one of 25 teenagers from across the country who are affected in some way due to a bleeding disorder that is in the musical.

She was supposed to travel to Chicago to do an intensive workshop then perform live, but plans changed because of COVID-19.

In response to the virus, the musical named “Hemophilia: The Musical” was renamed “Hemophilia: The Zoomsical.” Sailor said the cast was asked to record their musical parts over Zoom. They then sent them to editors who’ve been working to compile the clips so the musical can be viewed on social media.

“Before (the musical), I had nobody outside my family that had the same bleeding disorder as me,” Sailor said. “Through this musical, I’ve gained a lot of new friends that I can talk to whenever I need to, and (they) will get it.”

Sailor said living with the disorder can be scary at times, but thanks to the musical and her mom, Robin Leach, she’s constantly reminded of the importance of living life to the fullest no matter the obstacles that come along.

The Leach family. | Courtesy Robin Leach

“They have to live their life. They have to learn how to cope and deal with issues as they arise. They have to learn how to make those choices for themselves on if it’s too dangerous or what risks they’re willing to take,” Robin said. “I can’t put them in a bubble and say, ‘No, you can’t do this.’ That wouldn’t be fair to them and their potential.”

Sailor admits that while sometimes people treat those with a bleeding disorder differently and more fragile, she’s looking forward to the musical educating people.

“It can really help inform you about bleeding disorders and the people who have them,” she said of the musical. “Maybe you’ll come across someone who has a bleeding disorder, and you’ll know a bit more about their bleeding disorder, so you don’t treat them weird.”

The musical will premier Friday at 6 p.m. on Facebook. To watch, click here.