“At the age of 47 I immediately recognized the symptoms in myself.”

I am a past president of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society.

I first heard of hemochromatosis in 2002 when my father was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. He had been in failing health for a number of years with numerous vague ailments. Online research pointed us to hemochromatosis, and at the age of 47 I immediately recognized the symptoms in myself.

Over the past 15 years I have had 200 phlebotomies, one ankle fusion, the other ankle fully replaced, and countless (pleasant) naps to appease fatigue. The really good news is that my siblings, niece, and nephew have also been tested and diagnosed; all before any real damage had taken hold.

The CHS mission to increase early awareness is so valuable because each and every family can have that same magical multiplier effect with the initial diagnosis. Now, at the age of 62, I watch my diet, moderate my excesses, give blood a few times per year, and go for long distance bike rides just for fun.

Life can still be very good with early detection and action!

1 in 300 Canadians are at risk of iron overload, yet most are unaware of the condition. Our self-assessment tool can help determine if you or your family members are at risk for hereditary hemochromatosis.