Canadian Hemophilia Society
Help Stop the Bleeding
British Columbia Chapter

The Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) was founded in 1953 by a committed group of individuals (hemophiliacs and parents). Through their tireless efforts, the CHS quickly developed from a small Montréal-based support group to a national organization with chapters in each province. Today, in addition to the national office, provincial and regional offices play an important role in delivering services at the grassroots level.

From the beginning, Frank Schnabel, the founder of CHS, and other interested individuals and physicians dedicated their efforts towards ensuring that adequate supplies of hemophilic clotting factors and effective treatment were available across the country. As a result, there now are 25 hemophilia comprehensive care clinics throughout Canada.

The driving force in the creation of the British Columbia Chapter was Captain Dick Rudd. In 1959, along with his wife and children, he moved back to BC from Ontario. Other individuals that played a vital role in the establishment of the chapter include Martin Dayton, John Harkness and Margaret Thompson. Although their work began in 1959, the BC Chapter wasn't officially registered until 1960.

Margaret Thompson, who had already been a member of the National Society was always on the lookout for more people with Hemophilia in the Vancouver area and soon found several other families to join the organization.

At first, meetings were held in the homes of the members. By 1970 the location was at the Kinsman office and eventually the meetings moved to the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre.

One of the early fundraising activities includes the famous and well remembered "Mothers March of Dimes". Volunteers were able to blitz the West End of Vancouver from Burrard Bridge to Stanley Park in one single night. With the great help of Jake Koop and his fellow church members going door-to-door they collected nearly $10,000. Jake Koop was also instrumental in helping the community by organizing blood drives and together with Dr. Wally Thomas (hematologist who aided parents in starting the chapter) they worked diligently to educate the public about Hemophilia.

In an effort to bring people together and to strengthen the community bond, an annual social night was held where as many as 60-70 people would gather.

The BC Hemophilia Assessment Clinic was established in 1972, the first in Canada. The first nurse was Connie Prokop IV, a therapy nurse, who worked part time for Vancouver General Hospital and part time for the Clinic.

Interesting adage to the history and diagnosis of hemophilia: In 1954, Steven Christmas from Vancouver was the first person to be diagnosed with Factor IX (currently known as Christmas disease).

BC Chapter Board of Directors
President:
Curtis Brandell
Vice President:
Steven Bardini
Treasurer:
Pat Gottwald
Secretary:
Nanne Mandias
Directors at large:
Gabriel Ramos
Dino Altoe
Jean Marte
Marla Gibbs
Justin Smrz
Avery Marte
Christine Malcomson
Nader Mackvandi
National Delegate:
Curtis Brandell