Diagnosed with CLL in 2004, Deborah remains on Watch and Wait. She was told by her family doctor that she had the ‘good’ cancer and not to research on the internet. She became an advocate for CLL patients as a founding member of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patient Advocacy Group (CLLPAG) cllpag.ca. She has been a Co Chair, Chair and Acting Chair of the Board since CLLPAG formalized in 2007. She is now a Honourary Board member. Deborah built the CLLPAG members database into a tool that is used for surveying International CLL Patients and their caregivers to prepare patient submissions for drugs. She initiated the E-Bulletin that is sent to CLLPAG members.
She has been on the organizing committee of five International CLL Educational Conferences (CLL Live) presented for CLL Patients, their caregivers and Health Professionals in cooperation with Juravinski Cancer Centre, Hamilton, Ontario and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada and/or Lymphoma Foundation Canada (now Lymphoma Canada).
Deborah joined CLLAN in 2019. She hopes to ensure Canadian patients have access to International information and standards for CLL by being a member of the CLLAN Steering Committee.