September 22nd marks first annual CML Awareness Day

    Launched by the CML Society of Canada to promote education for better
    patient quality of life

    MONTREAL, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
Society of Canada, a not-for-profit patient education and support
organization, is proud to announce the creation of the first CML Awareness
Day, to promote education about the progressing cancer of the blood and bone
    "The dream is finally a reality. September 22nd is a day for CML patients
and their families to speak out about this disease and have their voices
heard," declared Cheryl-Anne Simoneau, President and CEO of the CML Society of
Canada, while in Winnipeg meeting with MP and Standing Committee on Health
Chair, Joy Smith. "We had a very positive meeting with MP Joy Smith and we are
grateful she took time out of her busy campaign schedule to meet with us." The
CML Society will also be meeting with Winnipeg Mayor, Sam Katz.
    CML is distinguished from the other types of leukemia by a genetic
abnormality in the white blood cells called the Philadelphia chromosome, which
promotes the growth of leukemia cells.
    The date of September 22nd (09/22) was symbolically chosen by one of the
young patients on the patient Advisory Board of the CML Society. Rav was
diagnosed with CML when he was just 25 years old: "I chose that date because
the Philadelphia chromosome thought to be acquired after birth, is formed when
chromosomes 9 and 22 exchange some of their genetic material, forming a new
one. It's estimated that by the year 2050, 280,000 people in North America
will be living with CML. A cure is needed and we have to act fast!"
    "On September 22nd, we will celebrate our multiple victories over the
disease, but we still have a long way to go to ensure that all CML patients
are adequately informed about the disease and properly treated so that they
can live long and healthy lives," said Cheryl-Anne, who was diagnosed with CML
almost eight years ago at the age of 43 and like many other people with the
disease, has experienced many treatment changes and challenges.
    In the coming weeks, the CML Society of Canada, working with key doctors
in Canada who treat this disease, will organize regional patient focus groups.
Patients will be encouraged to share their thoughts about how to improve
access to information and to treatment in Canada as well as discuss how the
disease affects their quality of life. This will offer an opportunity for
patients to network with their local CML Society representative.
    The information gathered from the focus groups will complement the
quantitative data already collected by the CML Society through a patient
survey earlier this year and will be used to update the development of
resources to help improve patient care and quality of life.
    Additionally, all of this information will be presented at this year's
meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in San Francisco in
December. The CML Society of Canada will be part of a satellite symposium
focused on patient care, treatment options and monitoring.
    In Canada approximately 460 new cases of CML are diagnosed each year
which represents one case for every 100,000 people. It is estimated that
approximately 3,000 Canadians are currently living with this very rare form of
leukemia, which primarily occurs during or after middle age, however it can
occur at any age.

    About the CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia) Society of Canada

    Established in 2006, the CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia) Society
provides support, education and information on CML, current and emerging
treatments and research initiatives for people living with CML and their
families. Through these efforts and ongoing advocacy, the CML Society advances
its mission to help reduce suffering and improve care and the quality of life
of CML patients. For more information, please refer to

    About CML (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia)

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is one of four types of leukemia and
is a slowly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow that is
characterized by an overproduction of white blood cells.
    Normally, cells are formed, mature, carry out their function, die, and
are replaced with new cells. With CML the normal blood cell production process
is disrupted. The white blood cells produce uncontrollably and do not mature
to carry out their intended function and ultimately crowd out the healthy
    There are three different phases to CML: chronic, accelerated and blast.
Results of a blood test will determine the phase.

    CML Society of Canada patient focus groups

    For more information regarding the focus group in your region, please
visit the CML Society website or contact your regional CML Society patient
advisory board member:

    September 2008 - Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Margot Miller,

    October 2008 - Calgary, Alberta, Cheryl-Anne Simoneau,

    October 2008 - Halifax, Nova Scotia, Cheryl-Anne Simoneau,

    October 2008 - Vancouver, British Columbia, Shalyn Linklater,

    November 2008 - Toronto, Ontario, Stewart Sklar,

    November 2008 - Montreal, Quebec, Cheryl-Anne Simoneau,

For further information:

For further information: Muriel Haraoui, HKDP Communications and Public
Affairs, (514) 395-0375, ext. 235, Mobile: (514) 717-3764,; Cheryl-Anne Simoneau, President and CEO, CML Society of
Canada, (514) 932-7575,

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