Toronto cop treks home from Parliament Hill Officer on a mission to see bill passed by federal government email@example.com
CARLETON PLACE – He carries a torch, but it won’t warm up a day like today. Toronto police Const. Ojo Tewogbade marched into Carleton Place on Feb. 2, emerging from the swirling snow in his blue uniform to greet well-wishers at Carleton Place’s town hall. Tewogbade is on a mission to raise awareness of a private member’s bill introduced to Parliament in December by Etobicoke North MP Kirsty Duncan. Bill C-605’s lengthy name is an act respecting a comprehensive national strategy for sickle cell disease and thalassemic disorders. The bill calls on the federal minister of health to join with the provincial and territorial health ministers to improve patient care and develop national standards for people with
the disease and disorders. Those affected by the conditions often have chronic anemia due to problematic blood cells. Infants and toddlers may suffer painful swelling of the hands or feet, and children under seven are at risk of sudden death. Survivors often have recurrent and unpredictable severe pain. Patients require kidney dialysis. Tewogbade knows the symptoms all too well. His daughter Florence, now 27, was diagnosed with sicklecell disease when she was 14. “I spent a lot of time at the Hospital for Sick Kids (in Toronto),” said Tewogbade. The soft-spoken constable is hopeful that Florence will receive a kidney transplant next month. Until then, she’ll continue with dialysis five days a week. Tewogbade is trekking from Parliament Hill to
Photo by Nevil Hunt
Toronto police Const. Ojo Tewogbade, right, shares his torch with Coun. Louis Antonakos and Mayor Wendy LeBlanc on Feb. 2, outside Carleton Place’s town hall. Tewogbade is on a walk from Ottawa to Toronto in support of a federal bill that would help sickle cell disease sufferers deal with their condition. Queen’s Park to drum up support for bill C-605. He left downtown Ottawa Feb. 1, and departed Stittsville earlier on Feb. 2 for Car-
leton Place, where he and some of the people with him plan to stay in rooms
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donated by Barons Motor Inn on Highway 7. On Feb. 3, Tewogbade
headed to Perth. His goal is to reach Queen’s Park on Feb. 17. He’s followed by an ambulance courtesy of Step By Step, which promotes organ and tissue donation. Step By Step CEO George Marcello said bill C-605 would fix 90 per cent of the health issues surrounding diseases such as sickle cell. Mayor Wendy LeBlanc and Coun. Louis Antonakos waited at the town hall for Tewogbade’s arrival. They invited the officer inside to chat and warmed him up with a cup of tea. “It’s an honour,” LeBlanc said of Tewogbade’s stop in the town. “It’s very important to draw attention to something like this.” Tewogbade’s walk may take weeks, but it’s the movement of Parliament that’s most important to him. “It’s a race now to get as many people as possible to make it pass,” he said. For more information, visit www.stepbystep.ca
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February 10 2011 Canadian Gazette
February 10, 2011