Ivan Giron’s life has been anything but easy, but he was able to overcome his past and find his purpose, even when all the cards were stacked against him. Ivan was born in the city of Bell in Los Angeles County, CA. At 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Moderate Hemophilia A after busting his lip on a toy car. His mother was scared which caused her to be overprotective throughout Ivan’s childhood. She made him wear a helmet and didn’t want him to play any sports. Ivan convinced his mother to let him play soccer once he turned 7, but he was forced to quit once he reached high school because of excessive ankle bleeds from his hemophilia. He says his childhood was difficult because he wanted to be active so badly, and wasn’t able to do the things other kids were participating in. He was competitive, and wasn’t allowed to compete. He was frustrated and often picked on, because no one understood his situation.
Ivan’s father faced a very tough childhood himself, and because he had a hard time coping, he became an alcoholic as an adult. His father was violent, angry, and abused drugs throughout Ivan’s life. He followed fairly close to his father’s example, and joined a gang at just 15 years old. He was angry because of hemophilia and his family life. He saw the other gangs in the community earning money and making a name for themselves, and he wanted those things also. He and several of his friends started their own gang, and quickly began growing their circle. Ivan was buying guns, selling drugs, recruiting new members, and ultimately watching some of his closest friends go to jail.
At the age of 18, Ivan was shot in the right ankle.
The knowledge of his hemophilia that he could relay to the paramedics ultimately saved his life. He suffered no permanent damage from the gunshot wound, but the risk was far from over. Just a few years later, at the age of 21, Ivan was shot again. This time he was shot in the left femur, and although he still suffered no permanent physical damage, his mental and emotional health needed major changes. During his hospitalization, only three of Ivan’s friends came to visit him. A lot of his gang members began abusing drugs, and that was a deal breaker for Ivan; he sold, but never used. He realized there was no more brotherhood within his circle, and he was ready to start living a better life.
Ivan and his wife, Adilene, had their first child at 18 and he knew it was time to begin building a life for them, one they could all be proud of. Even though Ivan had a troubled childhood, he knew the importance of attending school and making good grades, and now was the time to use it. He acquired his medical assisting degree at 19 years old, even while managing a gang and raising a family. Ivan has worked for an ophthalmologist clinic that specializes in glaucoma for 9 years now. He is one of their top techs and has many certifications. He and his wife have three children, ages 13, 11, and 1. He and Adilene lead a couples ministry at their church.
Ivan sees hemophilia as a blessing. It has given him a purpose to help lead other young men in the hemophilia community. He is motivated to inspire people with his story of triumph and change. He wants to look back and be proud of his life, raise his kids with good values, and continue to grow. He truly enjoys educating the hemophilia community and helping young men that are battling depression. Ivan is proof that you can change your life, and give others HOPE by sharing your story.