World Thrombosis Day campaign spotlights awareness advocates with annual awards program
World Thrombosis Day (WTD), a campaign of the ISTH, is an international movement devoted to shining a spotlight on the condition of thrombosis. WTD takes place annually on October 13 and draws attention to the signs, symptoms and risk factors of thrombosis, a condition that contributes to the deaths of one in four people worldwide each year.
In 2023, WTD celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new campaign theme of “Move Against Thrombosis.” The new theme encourages the public, healthcare professionals and policymakers to join together to support the WTD campaign, get moving and stay healthy to reduce the risk for blood clots.
A cornerstone of the WTD campaign is its annual awards program, which launched in 2018. The WTD awards program recognizes and celebrates outstanding patients, advocates, partner organizations and others who are dedicated to thrombosis awareness and prevention. Each year, individuals and organizations are selected for WTD awards to highlight their commitment to thrombosis advocacy and who make a difference in their local community.
The WTD 2023 program offers the following award categories this year, including an exciting new third award category.
See below for a recap of the 2022 award recipients:
Gordon McPherson: A Father’s Quest for Awareness and Prevention
Gordon McPherson is the recipient of the World Thrombosis Day 2022 Ambassador of the Year Award. This award recognizes Gordon’s extraordinary commitment to achieving the mission of the WTD campaign and for raising awareness through patient support and education in memory of his daughter Katie.
Gordon’s daughter Katie, who was 23-years-old, died from a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in 2003. Katie was studying to become an occupational therapist when two hospitals failed to spot a blood clot in her leg and she was sent home with painkillers. She died nine days later. Since then, Gordon, together with his wife, works tirelessly as an advocate for thrombosis awareness and prevention in Scotland and across the globe.
Gordon collaborates closely with Scotland’s National Health Service and the Scottish government to create more accountability for thrombosis-related deaths, and he has been interviewed in numerous global media outlets sharing his daughter Katie’s story. Gordon now serves as a patient representative on the WTD Steering Committee, wherein he provides important insights and perspectives based on his personal experience.
Making an Impact in Mexico: Sociedad Mexicana de Trombosis y Hemostasia (SOMETH)
The Mexican Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (Sociedad Mexicana de Trombosis y Hemostasia, SOMETH) is the recipient of the WTD 2022 Activity of the Year for its multifaceted advocacy activities in Mexico. The organization’s array of activities include a drawing contest for children and teens, educational workshops and sessions for healthcare professionals and the general public, building and monument illuminations and press conferences.
The Activity of the Year Award recognizes a WTD partner organization that has shown outstanding effort in developing an engaging and successful activity to raise awareness about thrombosis. Based in Mexico City, SOMETH is a multidisciplinary medical organization created to expand the acknowledgment of the field of thrombosis and hemostasis.
Since 2020, SOMETH has organized a World Thrombosis Day Drawing Challenge for children and teens wherein participants create drawings about thrombosis. Due to pandemic restrictions, the challenge was initially developed as a creative outlet to involve the community, particularly a younger age demographic. The activity is now a popular annual challenge that receives numerous submissions from participants between the ages of 5 to 16.
Each year, the organization also illuminates prominent monuments and buildings throughout Mexico in red and blue colors of the World Thrombosis Day movement, including Mexico’s Revolution Monument, Angel of Independence, National Palace and the National Cancer Institute. Additionally, SOMETH hosts several well-attended educational sessions on topics such as psychological support for patients and the prevention and management of thrombosis.