Author Tags: Fiction, Health
Marie Warder is the founder and President Emerita of both the South African and Canadian Hemochromatosis Societies, and the Founder and President for many years, of the International Association of Hemochromatosis Societies. In May of 2011, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Bio-Iron Society for her pioneering work in spreading awareness of hemochromatosis.
At age 42, her husband became ill with hemachromatosis but he was not diagnosed with the disease until nearly eight years later, by which time, it was estimated, he had only twelve weeks to live. As a result she formed the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society in 1980 to alert the public to the disease known as `bronze diabetes' which is caused by the body's inability to rid itself of excess iron. She self-published two books on Hemochromatosis (since made available in one volume, The Bronze Killer), and was awarded a medal of honour and certificate of honour by the Government of Canada. There is an educational interview with Warder and her husband Tom from 1983 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFGXxS9E8xM
[Also see Wikipedia for complete bio]
Since coming to Canada, she has devoted her literary efforts to the writing of more than 200 articles on the subject of Hemochromatosis, and to the production of patient literature for individuals, hospitals and other medical facilities. Her newsletters and brochures have been distributed in more than 16 countries.
Marie Warder was born in 1927 in Ficksburg, South Africa. Enamoured of Winnie the Pooh stories as a child, she dearly wanted a pair of Wellington boots like those worn by Christopher Robin, but her father had died when she was six years old and her family could not afford the boots, no matter how much she pleaded with her older sister. The price tag of eleven pounds was too much. Upon meeting a journalist and learning, to her astonishment, that it was possible to make money by writing, she sold her first newspaper article to the Cape Argus at age eleven--and earned the eleven pounds necessary to buy the Wellington boots. She later walked into a newspaper office, begged them for a job, sold her first short story at age seventeen, and worked as a journalist in South Africa. Many of her stories involve newspaper offices. Four of her novels have been used in South African schools and she has been listed by a South African Book Club as a top seven 'favourite novelist'.
Marie Warder's biography is included in the archives of the National Council of Women among 'Notable Women of Johannesburg'. She was also the founder of Windsor House Academy, a prestigious private school in Kempton Park, South Africa, of which she was the principal for many years before she and her family emigrated to Canada in the late 1970s, living in Richmond.
Marie Warder lives in South Delta, where she was chaplain at the Delta Hospital for seven years. She released her 20th book, "Dominic Verwey - Samaritan of the Sahara, in 2006, as part of her Beaclaire Saga (Stories from South Africa Series). Her 21st book is The Yardstick, a novel. [See below]
Undeterred by the onset of a neuro-muscular disorder that made it difficult to write, she dictated the contents of her fictional story Penny of the Morning Star (2010) in six weeks. According to publicity materials: "Penny of the Morning Star was commissioned more than fifty years ago for use by ESL students in South African schools. At that time it contained an English/Afrikaans glossary and comprehension questions, but even then students would rather discuss the characters--particularly why, in his early thirties the Morning Star editor, Paul Jansen was prematurely grey and his behaviour often so unpredictable. The author admits that she could not really explain those characteristics, even to herself, which is why she felt so strongly that what would now very likely have to be the last book she would ever publish, would have to be a re-write of Penny—not as a school book this time—and completely updated, while still set in the post-war 1940s. Having recently witnessed what happened to some of those very students after the Angolan War, she is finally able to able to understand that editor."
Originally written in Afrikaans, April in Portugal was translated and dictated by Warder in 2010 after she heard Julio Eglesias and others sing "April in Portugal" (Coimbra) on YouTube. "In order to claim their share of the estate left by their grandmother, a Portuguese marquise, Julieta and Carlos have to be able to prove that they are capable and worthy of taking their places within in the strict, conservative family circle. For this reason, the young Carlos, a student in England, and Julieta, who is in her late teens and happens to be living in South Africa at the time, are summoned to Portugal by the Marquis Ricardo de Monzaras. At the insistence of Julieta’s friends, Erin March, who is the secretary to Julieta’s lawyer, Cameron Monroe, accompanies the fiery young Portuguese maiden to Portugal, to keep an eye on her. There, amid the luxurious surroundings of Ricardo de Monzaras’ estate, where one exciting adventure follows another, even the cool, sedate Ellen begins to thaw."
ARRIVAL IN CANADA: May 15, 1978
ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: March 1980
EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Jounalist, Teacher, Public Relations Officer.
Book Club awards in South Africa.
"THE BRONZE KILLER" was recommended by physicians and clinics in Canada and further afield, the book earned high praise for its author in her citation for the Canada Volunteer Medal of Honour and Certificate of Honour, which reads in part: “Through Marie’s research and most noted book, “The Bronze Killer”, she has educated doctors and the general public about the disease. As a result, hemochromatosis is now recognized as Canada’s most common genetic disorder, and routine blood tests for the disease may soon become standard diagnostic procedure.”
Warder, Marie (1989). The Bronze Killer: The Story of a Family's Fight Against a Very Common Enemy - Hemochromatosis. Imperani Publishers Publishers. ISBN 0-88925-885-6. (Updated in 2000 as The Bronze Killer: New Edition (Dromedaris Books, ISBN 9780968735800) including "Iron: The Other Side of the Story", a layman's guide to hemochromatosis)
Warder, Marie (2003). Storm Water. Stories from South Africa Series. Maple Lane Publishing. ISBN 978-0-921966-05-0.
Warder, Marie (2003). With No Remorse. Stories from South Africa Series. Dromedaris Books. ISBN 978-0-921966-03-6.
Warder, Marie (2004). When You Know -- that You Know, that You Know!. Stories from South Africa 3. Maple Lane Publishing. ISBN 978-0-921966-09-8.
Warder, Marie (2004). Tarnished Idols. Stories from South Africa. Dromedaris Books. ISBN 978-0-921966-07-4.
Warder, Marie (2006). Dominic Verwey Samaritan of the Sahara. Stories from South Africa 5. Booksurge Llc. ISBN 978-0-9733625-0-3.
Warder, Marie (2007). The Yardstick. Stories from South Africa Series. Booksurge Llc. ISBN 978-0-9733625-1-0.
Warder, Marie (2010). Penny of the Morning Star: The Story of a Girl Reporter in the Nineteen Forties. Stories from South Africa. Maple Lane Publishing.
Warder, Marie (2011). April in Portugal. Dromedaris Books. ISBN 978-0-9733625-4-1.
Warder, Marie (1953). Klei-Voete [Feet of Clay]. Die Goeie Hoop Uitgewers. ASIN B0040MIFXS.
Warder, Marie (1954). Samaritaan van die Sahara [Samaritan of the Sahara]. Johannesburg: Dagbreek-Boekkring. OCLC 37484386.
Warder, Marie (1959). Niemand so Blind [None So Blind]. Johannesburg: Dagbreek-Boekkring. OCLC 36230980.
Warder, Marie (1961). Deur sonskyn en skaduwee [Through Sunshine and Shadow]. Johannesburg: Dagbreek-Boekkring. OCLC 504531563.
Warder, Marie (1963). Die maatstok [The Dipstick]. Johannesburg: Dagbreek-Boekkring. OCLC 14643120.
[Dromedaris, Box 82, Station Main, Delta, BC V4K 1V0]
[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2012] "Health" "Fiction"
The Bronze Killer
“I had a husband in a million," says Marie Warder of Richmond, "He was big, strong, athletic. He had a permanent tan that singled him out. Then at age 42 he began to exhibit the classic signs of diabetes and suffered a change of personality. He lost his memory and his body hair. The doctors gave him only weeks to live.
"It was absolutely a miracle that we ran into one of the world authorities on hemochromatosis, Professor T. Bothwell of South Africa. He could diagnose the disease because there's a high incidence of iron overload among South African blacks due to their cooking methods and their practice of brewing beer in iron pots. He started treatments that saved my husband's life.
"I became interested in the disease and formed the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society in 1982. I guess I'm a bit of an upstart. I'm not a doctor. But the information about this disease has to be made available at a level that is readily understandable to the public. "You see, when one takes iron, everybody should have some sort of technique in the bowel to regulate the elimination of iron. When you have two genes for hemochromatosis you lack the ability to rid the system of excess iron. Over time the iron settles in a vital organ, usually in the liver. It destroys or damages the organ in which it is stored. When it enters the pancreas, you get what has been known as bronze diabetes.
"My book will be called The Bronze Killer (Self-published $12.95, Soules distributing) because of this tan that never fades. It can also cause a crippling form of arthritis, impotence and less libido in men. It is also a cause of premature menopause in women.
"The average family doctor still believes hemochromatosis is a rare disease. The research that's being done isn't filtering through. It wasn't until 1984 that I found a Canadian doctor who was doing any research. That's Dr. Valberg, Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. In Macleans magazine he has estimated there are approximately 75,000 Canadians afflicted with hemochromotosis.
"The numbers are rising rapidly because it's a genetically transferred disease. There are now about 32 million people in the U.S. who carry the gene for the disease. So far we only have figures for Caucasians but it appears it's especially prevalent in the French, Dutch, Germans, Scandinavians and the British.
"Now we're reaching the stage where we have little children with it. There are children in the Vancouver Children's Hospital with the disease. It's not fatal if it's treated. But how many people have died of hemochromotosis because it hasn't been diagnosed?
"Everyone who goes in for a checkup should be checked for too much iron as well as too little iron. I hope an iron-profile will become standard practice for medical check-ups. And I want to see a warning label on iron supplements. I have hundreds of recorded cases of women who cannot have children because when they started having menstrual problems, they were put on iron supplements.
"I've been a voice crying in the wilderness for nine years. Now several other people in the U.S. want to do a book. People are slowly starting to realize that potentially hemochromatosis could be a greater threat than AIDS."
[BCBW Summer 1988]
Publisher's promo (2007)
The Yardstick Publisher's promo (2007)
A great part of the story is played out among the dunes of the Kalahari Desert in ‘The Yardstick’, volume three of the Beauclaire Saga, in the Stories from South Africa series, but we also briefly revisit New York, Louisiana, Nelspruit, Johannesburg and Bethlehem, as the history of the Ashton family and their Nelspruit citrus farm continues. Now we find a disillusioned Benjamin Ashton—about to become a grandfather—forced to consider relocating the South African members of his family, which could well bring to an end what has been for them a blessedly happy era on their Lowveld citrus farm.
At the same time, the integrity of Ben’s altruistic son, a physician, is severely tested as Jordan is unwillingly drawn into the sordid affairs of Tristan Connaught, the womanizing partner in their upscale practice near Johannesburg. Unfortunately Tristan is none other than the son of Father Clifford Connaught of Bethlehem in the Free State, who played such a important role in the lives of both Ben Ashton and his brother, Jamie; and, together with them, we are re-introduced to many of the well-loved characters from ‘When you know that you know, that you know! or The redemption of Benjamin Ashton’.
Handsome, brilliant and charming, young Doctor Connaught is much sought-after, chiefly by bored, hypochondriac, society women! Having grown up in Louisiana—among homeless children, in a shelter financed by Amy-Lee Ashton, and of which his parents are the directors—Tristan is proud, upon his return to the country of his birth, to count the rich and famous among his patients. When, during a visit to his great-uncle, Doctor Hugo Connaught, in a remote and arid village situated in the Kalahari Desert, he persuades Doctor Hugo to allow him to respond to a call from an eccentric, hermit professor who has chosen to live in isolation with his two, reputedly beautiful young daughters, he soon finds himself in a unique situation which is both intriguing and challenging.
Penny of the Morning Star ($12.95)
Publishers Press Release
The story of a girl reporter in the nineteen forties. “Penny of the Morning Star", was commissioned more than fifty years ago for use by ESL students in South African schools. At that time it contained an English/Afrikaans glossary and comprehension questions, but even then students would rather discuss the characters—particularly why, in his early thirties, the Morning Star editor Paul Jansen was prematurely grey and his behaviour often so unpredictable. The author admits that she could not really explain those characteristics, even to herself, which is why she felt so strongly that what would now very likely have to be the last book she would ever publish, would have to be a re-write of Penny—not as a school book this time—and completely updated, while still set in the post-war 1940's ... because, having witnessed what happened to some of those very students after the Angolan War, she is finally able to able to understand that editor.