MONTREAL, Sept. 27, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - A rare condition gets the chance to shine tonight through the power of collective art, as patient stories celebrate struggles and successes with acromegaly. At Galerie Gora located at 279 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 205, Montreal from 5:30 to 8:30pm, the Light of Day event will showcase how acromegaly patients across Canada are living and thriving despite the challenges this disease presents them. The exhibit is open to the public and will continue during regular gallery hours until September 29th.
The vision for the project, shot by local Montreal photographer and acromegaly patient Santino Matrundola, comprises a single photograph of each of the eleven participating acromegaly ambassadors, along with a short story describing the unique experience each has had with this condition. "I was so pleased that the project came together," explains Santino, "all of us as ambassadors experience acromegaly in our own unique way, and I wanted to shine the light on how we each use our hope, positivity, and energy to overcome this disease and help raise awareness."
The acromegaly ambassadors are a group of patients from across Canada who strive to raise awareness about a disease that is very rare. Less than 2,000 Canadians are currently diagnosed, with many more still in search of diagnosis. In fact, while diagnosed in 3 to 4 in one million persons per year, it is present in 60 in one million persons.1 "So many acromegaly patients live in silence and isolation for a long time because of the significant impact on the mind and body, and because it is so rare," says Brent Baker, a founding member of the Canadian Pituitary Patient Network and an acromegaly patient himself. "If we can encourage one person to seek help, we've accomplished something significant because there are many undiagnosed patients," he continues. Patient support in Canada is provided via the following associations: Canadian Pituitary Patient Network, Vancouver Acromegaly Support Group, Alberta Pituitary Patient Society, Atlantic Acromegaly Support Society and the Acromegaly Ottawa Awareness and Support Network.
This initiative would not have been possible without the support of Pfizer Canada Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company. Rhonda O'Gallagher, Vice President, Corporate Affairs says, "we're incredibly proud of the work that we do to support the acromegaly patient community across Canada and we are so pleased to see this art initiative come to life."
Santino Matrundola is available for interviews and can speak to how acromegaly has impacted his life and provide more insight on the Light of Day project. Brent Baker is available for telephone interviews and can speak to the nationwide drive to enhance awareness of acromegaly and get patients involved in the support services available to them.
Acromegaly is a rare disease in adults which is difficult to diagnose due to its slow progression and varied symptoms. Most commonly caused by a benign pituitary tumour, acromegaly causes abnormal skeletal and soft tissue growth. Commonly, the first signs of acromegaly are changes in ring and foot size, changes in dental bite, new gaps between teeth, joint pain, excessive snoring or excessive sweating. Complications commonly include headaches, vision problems, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, colonic polyps and enlarged internal organs such as the heart. Acromegaly also has hidden family, work, social and psychological impacts, often causing those affected to suffer in silence and isolation.1
About Pfizer Canada
Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most prescribed medicines, vaccines and consumer health products. Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve patients' lives. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit pfizer.ca or you can follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/PfizerCA) or Facebook (facebook.com/Pfizer.Canada).
1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Endocrine Diseases. Acromegaly. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/acromegaly. Accessed August 2018.
SOURCE Canadian Pituitary Patient Network
For further information: Katia Kononova, Edelman, 514-315-1975, [email protected]