“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi. I believe in this very strongly. A strong belief does not go very far unless people are willing to act on it. I have chosen my platform to be about spreading awareness and educating people about the dangers of Hereditary Hemochromatosis. Hereditary Hemochromatosis is one of the most under diagnosed disorders and that is what I want to change in the world.
Three generations of my family have been affected by Hereditary Hemochromatosis; myself, my mother, and my grandparents. My grandfather is a carrier while my grandmother was the first to suffer from this disorder, however it took 10 years for her to finally be diagnosed. This only builds on my reasoning to have chosen this as my platform. It should not have taken 10 years for my grandmother to be diagnosed! Not only did the doctors not know what was wrong with her but she began to question herself. People began thinking that she was making it up, that she was a hypochondriac, or just plain crazy. This is something that no human being should be forced to go through. In the future I hope to educate enough people so that others do not face the same problems that my grandmother did.
What is Hereditary Hemochromatosis you may ask? It is a genetic disorder that affects the amount of iron stored in your blood. If you have it, your body will absorb too much iron. This can cause many debilitating complications like heart disease, diabetes, joint pain, chronic fatigue and many more.
In order to have the disorder you must have both genes. One in every 300 Canadians has this disorder and most don’t even know that they have it. If you have only one of the genes you are considered a carrier and have the possibility of passing the disorder along to your children. 1 in 9 people in Canada are carriers. This is important to me because one day I may marry someone who also is a carrier, then my children could be at risk of having the disorder. If people are unaware that they have this disorder or that they may be a carrier they, or their children may suffer.
Is there treatment for Hereditary Hemochromatosis? Treatment is simple: frequent and regular removal of blood called a phlebotomy. This blood is suitable for donation which can be done at Canadian Blood Services.
If I were to become the new Miss Teenage Canada I would make spreading this awareness a priority. I have already partnered with the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society and would continue working with them. In addition to the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, I would work with Canadian Blood Services in hopes of reaching more people. As Miss Teenage Spruce Grove, I have seen the spark of interest in people’s eyes when they hear that I am fighting to educate people about Hereditary Hemochromatosis. Imagine what could be done if I became the national spokesperson for the society? I could make a tremendous change in the world. We may never be able to cure this horrible disorder, but we can try our best to catch it before it catches us. I am here to help give the information that people need to save their loved ones or possibly themselves.
Please visit the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society website for more information.
Thank you for keeping up with my blogs, keep checking in for the ones that will be coming from the pageant in Toronto this week!