The Brittle Bone Society was established in 1968 in Dundee by the Late Dr Margaret Grant, MBE, who herself had Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Margaret, born in 1933, was aware that there was literally no support for people with OI and that many medical professionals knew little or nothing about diagnosing and treating the condition. When her daughter Yvonne was born in 1961 very little had changed. Some years later Margaret started seeking help and was told by a Social Worker in 1968 that there was no support for people with brittle bones.
Margaret was as at a loss as to what to do; this was at a time when there were no allowances for children and very little for adults – you either worked or you didn’t! If you had a wheelchair you were told you were lucky – even if you couldn’t reach the wheels to push it. Margaret placed an article in the Sunday Post newspaper and this was the start of the Brittle Bone Society and what is thought to be the worlds first support charity for people with OI.
Many relationships have been built over the years both within the UK and internationally throughout the OI community. Margaret’s early collaboration, and her powerful and extensive network saw her liaise with friends in the USA who also went on to set up the OI Foundation around the same time. They exchanged ideas and offered each other mutual support. Some years later Margaret was instrumental in supporting the setup of the European collective of patient organisations in Europe – the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Federation Europe (OIFE).
For many years Margaret was the driving force behind the charity the Brittle Bone Society, and her outstanding achievement was recognised when she was awarded an MBE in 1989. She was also awarded an honorary degree by the University of Dundee in Summer 2018.
You can find out more about the Charity by watching this documentary.