Terry's story – osteoarthritis in the family
Osteoarthritis runs in Terry Lawrence’s family. Our new genetic research is providing an important first step to combat this crippling condition.
Terry has had severe osteoarthritis since her 50s and has had four joint replacements - both her shoulders, her left hip and left knee. She is having cortisone injections in her painful right knee, which will need replacing soon.
Terry, aged 66, also has osteoarthritis in her neck and spine. The progress of the disease is slow and degenerative, and she has good days and bad days, like most people with osteoarthritis.
Her mother Ivy, now 99, has osteoarthritis, and Terry is concerned that her daughters and grand-children will not similarly affected as they get older. She hopes that the arcOGEN study may offer a lifeline if not for her daughters, then for her grand-daughters.
“I’m very anxious to identify whether my daughters and four grand-children might develop osteoarthritis, and identifying the relevant genes and initiating early preventative treatment might alleviate some of the pain and restriction that I am experiencing, and improve their quality of life as they get older,” she says.
Terry's four year-old-granddaughter, Aisha, has asked her: "Will I have wonky knees and stiff legs when I am an old lady like you?" Terry was able to reply: "No. The doctors are working hard to find out why grandma has this, so they can stop it ever happening to you."
She adds: “I’m enthusiastic about arcOGEN, as if everything that I have gone through can be avoided by identifying osteoarthritis early – if we can find who will get osteoarthritis or get it badly, and intervene early in the disease process – how fantastic that would that be! The amount of money that has been spent on treating me and operating on me could be saved.”
Read a Q&A about arcOGEN.