Raising Awareness was our Key Motivator!
- There are about 5,100 Canadians living with CML.
- Every day someone in Canada is diagnosed with CML
- Although we have made significant improvements, once a week someone living with CML in Canada will die.
- No known cause or prevention of CML
- Some patients in Canada still struggle to access and/or pay for treatment
- Young CML patients, although in the minority have been discriminated against at their place of work due to insurance coverage issues for these expensive, but highly affective drugs.
The CML Society of Canada led a workshop with our Patient Advisory Board members in Winnipeg Manitoba to determine the best way to raise awareness about CML in Canada as well as globally. Why Winnipeg? Mrs. Joy Smith, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health has her riding office there and lives there. We also knew that she was at her riding office and would meet with us.
One of our youngest members came up with an idea of branding a day that would have significance to all CMLers. There was only one day he could think of . The 9th month – September, the 22nd Day – representing the 9/22 translocation which is the harbinger of CML. This is how we innovated the brand CML Awareness Day ™ Incredibly, no one had ever thought about this idea before. On September 22, 2008 we met with Mrs. Joy Smith, Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. We started to collaborate with her to help us raise awareness for CML and other blood disorders.
(From left to right in the picture at the right: Mrs. Margot Miller, Mrs. Joy Smith, Mrs. Cheryl-Anne Simoneau and Mr. Stewart Sklar)
Although we tried to bring the idea to other patient groups around the world, some of them could not understand why we chose September 22 as CML Awareness Day. Once they did understand it, in 2011, they decided to create their own celebrations and call it something else. But here is Canada where it all started, it is CML Awareness Day – and it always will be! By 2010 we were invited to Parliament Hill! CML Awareness Day was officially recognized by our government. Click the link below to watch as Mrs. Joy Smith, MP pays tribute to The CML Society of Canada.
CML Awareness Day – House of Commons
A special thank you to the leaders of CML patient groups around the world who have written to us to thank us for creating this day. We truly appreciate your acknowledgement, support and commitment to celebrate this day in your own country.