The CNA believes it is time for all Canadians to understand peripheral neuropathy, its causes, symptoms and effect on people. We are stepping up to be a voice for all forms of neuropathy.
Why a Neuropathy Awareness Day?
Neuropathy is nerve damage; but it leads to much more. Neuropathy results in chronic pain and the loss of muscle strength and sensation in the affected areas, which in turn leads to loss of function, reduced quality of life, and can lead to depression and anxiety.
The Calgary Neuropathy Association (CNA) is determined to establish a Neuropathy Awareness Day in Canada. Why?
- Many people suffer with some form of neuropathy without actually knowing it has a name. Without that knowledge they have no way to learn what they can do to manage it.
- Others suffer in silence and seclusion because their family, friends and even health care providers don’t understand the level of pain and hopelessness they live with. Since neuropathy is an invisible illness, those who should be supportive can’t provide the necessary understanding and support because they lack awareness. These people are in the best position to support sufferers, but they also need support.
- Many don’t know that neuropathy may affect their grandmothers and grandfathers, parents and children, friends and coworkers. Or they don’t understand that it affects them with disability, never ending pain and mental health issues; tragically, sometimes with symptoms so severe it leads to suicide (individual or doctor assisted). People can’t provide supportive if they are in the dark.
- Research and the funds needed for it only come with awareness first. Of course we’d love to see more research. But when people don’t know what neuropathy means and that it affects people they care about terribly they don’t call for more to be done. It’s also hard to compete for attention of the medical community and doctors generally focus on the underlying conditions – unfortunately ignoring our neuropathy as just a symptom.
The CNA is asking for every 3rd Saturday in November to be an official Neuropathy Awareness Day in hopes it demonstrates our commitment to government agencies and the medical community.
What will it do?
With a Neuropathy Awareness Day, the CNA will have a platform to bring together partnering organizations with the intent of providing valuable information to all Canadians, including our medical community, and to start conversations about neuropathy.
An awareness day will shine a light into the dark place where neuropathy has been hiding.
House of Commons E-Petition Process:
The CNA petition (E-1907) was written under the guidance and sponsorship of the MP for Calgary Shepard, Tom Kmiec. The petition was initiated, by the CNA Director of Community Engagement, Russell Petiot, on January 24, 2019 and was “Open for Signatures” until May 24, 2019. The petition was given 120 days to obtain 500 signatures as required to proceed to the next phase. This phase was successful and is complete.
On May 24, 2019, the petition was be closed for signatures and the Clerk of Petitions performed a final validation of signatures. If the Clerk of Petitions confirmed 500 valid names and the petition became “Certified”, and ensured the our sponsoring MP will present the petition to the House of Commons and the government will respond within 45 days (July 7th). The Government of Canada will then table a response and the petition moves to “Tabled” status. This phase was successful and is complete.
Based on the Government of Canada’s tabled response it may move to the next step to be made (“enacted”) into an Act (i.e. law). An example of a petition that has been enacted is the National Sickle Cell Awareness Day Act. As an Act, it is then also included in the Canada Gazette.
Where the petition will not be enacted, the Government of Canada will define steps it will take in the tabled response to support the initiative, if any.
In the event of either outcome, the CNA will submit a request the day be added to the Government of Canada Calendar of health promotion days.