How we gave back to the community by raising hemochromatosis awareness

Posted December 6th, 2016 by Administrator

By Hazel Sharma, Prabhkirat Kaur, and Ashmi Shah

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CHS President Ian Hilley presents certificates of appreciation to teacher Pamela Gordon and students (L-R) Hazel Sharma, Ashmi Shah and Prabhkirat Kaur for raising awareness in their community

Inspired by our teacher, we are spreading awareness about Hemochromatosis at our school and in our community.

Pamela Gordon, our grade 8 teacher at W.G. Davis Senior in Brampton, Ontario, found out about the disorder at the age of 43. From a young age she was a very active person, as she would run marathons. After a while, she started to often feel unusually tired. As the behaviour continued, it led her to get her ferritin levels checked and she was diagnosed with Hemochromatosis.

Upon hearing this, we became curious. After a bit of research we discovered Hemochromatosis was a dangerous disorder but was also quite unknown. Looking at the rate of people affected by the disorder, we decided to contact the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society (CHS). We were able to get in contact with the local CHS coordinator, and we started raising awareness around our communities. To start small, we contacted eight pharmacies, surveying their views upon Hemochromatosis and distributing the CHS pamphlets. Out of all, only one pharmacy seemed to be familiar with the term “iron overload”.

In April 2016, we hosted a fair all about Hemochromatosis and taught students what iron overload is in an engaging way, with several diagrams and experiments. In the end, we received remarkable feedback from our peers and teachers. We strive to continue to raise caution about Hemochromatosis, hoping that the community becomes more aware.