Window Promotes Awareness of Hemochromatosis
Posted May 18th, 2011 by webadmin
Local author Janet Trinder has cleverly designed a shop window at Upper Oakville Shopping Centre in her effort to raise awareness of hemochromatosis, (hemo-chro-ma-to-sis) a condition that affects an estimated 40,000 Ontarians. Trinder’s mother died of complications caused by hemochromatosis, an inherited disorder that causes the body to overload in iron. Left untreated, the excess iron builds up in vital organs, tissues and joints, where it can cause a number of debilitating and potentially fatal complications including heart disease, cirrhosis, cancer, type 2 diabetes and arthritis.
Trinder explains, “My grandmother lived to be 103 so we expected Mom to have a long life. However, it was not to be, the debilitating effects began with excruciating pain in her wrist then cirrhosis – and she wasn’t a drinker! It is so sad that she won’t be at any of her grandchildren’s weddings, but thanks to mom’s belated diagnosis, my sister will attend her children’s weddings! Yes, my sister and many cousins have been diagnosed!”
Diagnosing and treating the disorder while still in its early stages, before irreversible damage is done, is extremely important to prevent the complications and diseases. Diagnosis requires two special tests that must be ordered by a doctor, and the standard treatment for hemochromatosis is a procedure known as a phlebotomy, which is the drawing off of a unit of blood, similar to a blood donation but at a higher frequency.
Trinder’s window can be found on the east side of the Upper Oakville Shopping Centre, between Swiss Chalet and Baskin Robbins. “May is Hemochromatosis Awareness Month,” says Trinder, “I encourage everyone to learn more about the warning signs of this disorder – especially if you’re Irish or French Canadian and you are experiencing symptoms – get tested. Come see the window or get on the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society website (www.toomuchiron.ca). You could save your life and the lives of others in your family.”