The 8th of May was established in 1994 by the thalassaemia International Federation as the International Thalassaemia Day in memory of George Englezos and all thalassaemia patients who are no longer with us.
George, the son of TIF’s President and founder, belonged to the new generation of thalassaemia patients who had the privilege to receive quality therapy that allowed him to compete on equal terms with other people his age in school, receive higher education abroad, and return to Cyprus as a full-fledged scientist.
Social prejudice had already started to fade when George and other patients with thalassaemia began to succeed in the professional arena and have their own families. George and other patients’ success was due to their own personal fight for personal and social achievement but also to the ceaseless fight of their parents who, not only confronted the social stigma that accompanied genetic conditions such as thalassaemia at the time, but also participated and strengthened Anaemia Associations who, with the help of a small group of doctors and nurses worked altruistically to raise social and state awareness about to this condition and the needs of thalassaemia patients.
Celebrated every year on the 8th of May, the International Thalassaemia Day is an annual landmark for the global thalassaemia family, devoted to the strengthening of the lifelong and difficult struggle against thalassaemia, an opportunity to commemorate those who are no longer with us and renew our promise to keep fighting until the final cure for thalassaemia is found.