The 8th of May was established in 1994 by the Thalassaemia International Federation as the ”International Thalassaemia Day”, in loving memory of George Englezos and all thalassaemia patients who are no longer with us.
George, the son of TIF’s President and Founder, Mr. Panos Englezos, belonged to the new generation of patients with thalassaemia 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 in and strengthened Anaemia Associations.
The latter, 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.