Fanconi Anemia (FA), named for Swiss pediatrician Guido Fanconi, is the most common of the inherited anemias that lead to progressive, severe bone marrow failure, also known as aplastic anemia. The effects of the disease are devastating, leaving patients weak, prone to severe bleeding due to insufficient blood clotting and susceptible to infection. FA is a genetic disorder that occurs equally in males and females and is found in all ethnic groups. Though considered primarily a blood disease, it may affect all systems of the body. A Fanconi Anemia patient often, but not always, has other physical defects detectable at the time of birth ranging from minor to serious. Patients are also at an increased risk for developing leukemia and other cancers. Many children do not survive to adulthood.
Fanconi Canada raises money for research into finding a cure and/or treatments for Fanconi Anemia (FA). Fanconi Canada also raises awareness among members of the general public and the medical community about Fanconi Anemia, its diagnosis and methods of treatment and provides support to affected Canadian families. Fanconi Canada has no paid staff, but is managed by dedicated volunteers.
All money raised through public donations supports medical research, while administrative expenses are funded by FA families. In the past 10 years, Fanconi Canada has raised over $850,000 for FA research.
Research into FA is being performed worldwide by many committed researchers. FA research leads to a better understanding of the cancers that affect many FA patients. These cancers can occur in any part of the body and pose an extraordinary risk for FA patients. Understanding how to prevent, diagnose and treat these cancers is an urgent priority and holds benefits for the community at large, not just FA patients. Canadian researchers have played a leading role in FA research, notably the cloning of the first FA gene and the development of a mouse model by Dr. Manuel Buchwald and his team at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Fanconi Canada is an Official Charity in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge.