The Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network (COPN) achieved a significant milestone in its efforts to reach out to Canadians affected by osteoporosis with the recent signing of its 5000th member, Ottawa resident Judy Reaves. At a ceremony on May 4 to honour the occasion, Ms Reaves said “I am delighted to have discovered a source of osteoporosis information and support that I can trust. Although I don’t need to take medication for my bones, I look forward to my COPING newsletters, knowing that every issue will bring me tips on nutrition, exercise and all the other things I need to know to keep my bones as healthy and as strong as possible.”
COPN, the patient arm of Osteoporosis Canada, was founded in 2004 by four friends who were determined to overcome the challenges of living with osteoporosis. From its modest beginnings in Southern Ontario, COPN quickly spread across the country and in the past three years alone membership has grown five-fold. New members are drawn by the range of services offered by COPN including the newsletter that is published every two weeks, quarterly interactive on-line workshops with osteoporosis experts and a website that is the most comprehensive source of Canadian osteoporosis-related information on the Internet.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadian men and women needlessly fracture each year because they are not assessed or treated for their underlying osteoporosis. “Reaching out to those individuals is Osteoporosis Canada’s number one priority” said Dr. Famida Jiwa, President and CEO. “I am delighted to see the continued growth of COPN. With each new member, one more person learns what it takes to prevent an osteoporotic fracture. “
Fractures can have a devastating impact on a person’s quality of life, leading to chronic pain, additional illness and even death. It is essential to identify those at high fracture risk to ensure that they receive the treatment they need to prevent more fractures.
After a diagnosis of osteoporosis, individuals can be confused and frightened by the overwhelming amount of, sometimes conflicting, information available today. “At COPN we know this because as patients we have all been there” said Larry Funnell, Chair COPN. “That is why we ensure that all the information we provide is accurate, up-to-date and relevant to the needs of Canadians who, like us, are striving to live well with osteoporosis.”
Whether or not you have osteoporosis, maintaining healthy bones is something we all need to do. If you have osteoporosis or know someone who does, that is all the more reason why you should join COPN. Membership with the Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network is absolutely FREE and your personal information will not be shared with any other organization. Simply go to www.osteoporosis.ca or phone 1-800-463-6842 and start receiving all that COPN membership has to offer.