Nine-year-old Nicklas Radke received his first treatment of the hemophilia medication Hemlibra last week.
Hemophilia is a rare disorder that prevents a person's blood from clotting, making bleeding much more dangerous for those who live with it.
The change in treatment represents a larger change in his day-to-day life, explains his mother Andrea.
"With Hemlibra, we should receive one subcutaneous injection, very much like a diabetic receives their insulin, once a week under his skin. It's way, way less frequent than infusions and way less invasive. It makes it a lot easier, less effort than to find a vein. With the injection under the skin, there's no missing, whereas with an IV injection, there's a chance you miss the vein and have to poke again."
It's a big change from the three infusions a week he's used to, and Nicklas will eventually be able to do it himself.
Andrea says Hemlibra also seems to be more effective.
"People that have Hemophilia and have been bleeding before, they experience almost no more bleeds. In a year, people who usually report four or five bleeds a year would report zero to one a year."
Previous joint damage also seems to heal easier with the new treatment.
It's been a long time coming for Nicklas.
In April of last year, the Canadian Hemophilia Society started a letter-writing campaign to make Hemlibra more widely available to hemophilia patients, which Radke participated in by gathering signatures locally.
With the medication now approved for all severe Hemophilia patients by Health Canada, Nicklas is now receiving regular treatments.
The notion of an under-the-skin injection was pretty scary for Nicklas at first, but Andrea says he pretty quickly realized it was much easier.
"He was really quite nervous because it sounds like 'oh my gosh, somebody is going to poke me,' but after the first injection he looked at me like 'Mom, I think I can do this.'"
Nicklas will still need infusions if he gets injured, but the Hemlibra treatments will go a long way toward preventing that.
He's still playing baseball, and is actually competing in a U11 tournament in the next few weeks.