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The Story of Silent Killer
Hemochromatosis or Iron Overload Disorder — the first time I had ever heard this term happened in 1998 when I was diagnosed. In a nutshell: IOD is the hereditary iron overloading of vital organs and joints. Left untreated it can literally rust the body to death. How do you know if you have it? Typically someone in your family dies and IOD is discovered upon autopsy. This person is known as the "sacrificial sibling." A simple blood test can determine if you are at risk. Symptoms may vary from anemia to chronic fatigue, etc. This is most commonly undiagnosed treatable disorder, meaning you don't have to die.
Treatment? In past centuries it was simple, leeches. Now phlebotomies are used to rapidly reduce iron. For me it was one unit of blood once a week. I still think I'd prefer leeches. My family has been tested. My parents both have the recessive gene while my eldest sister also has IOD. We are lucky that I was diagnosed.
In making this quilt I hope to educate the viewer through humor to be tested so in the 21st century Hemochromatosis will no longer bear the name of Silent Killer.