Bursary is the bones of skeleton research

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A bursary set up in recognition of the prolific fundraising efforts of a Banbridge woman for the Paget’s Association, has been awarded to a PhD research student from Liverpool.

Mrs Doreen Beck MBE developed Paget’s Disease of Bone, and since 1988 devoted much of her time to collecting for the Paget’s Association - a registered Charity supporting people with the condition and to whom Doreen was indebted for their advice and encouragement.

The disease forced Doreen to retire early from nursing and that’s when her fundraising began.

She organised a street collection on behalf of the Association, and before she knew it, was doing several collections a week.

“I have loved every minute of it,” she said.

“It has given me a lot of joy over the years, and I love talking to people”.

Such was her enthusiasm that she, along with the help of other dedicated helpers, raised over £230,000 - for which she was awarded an MBE in 1996.

Doreen, now 85, is no longer able to fund raise however, in recognition of her support the Paget’s Association has created the Doreen Beck Student Research Bursary to encourage research into this painful bone condition which can result in severe deformity, deafness and fractures.

Following application, Carla Burrell, a PhD student from Liverpool John Moores University was awarded the £6000 Doreen Beck Student Research Bursary.

Carla is investigating Paget’s Disease of Bone within the medieval skeletal collection from Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, an independent charitable trust based in the north west of England, where the disease is more common.

Six of the skeletons have been previously diagnosed with Paget’s disease but thanks to new x-ray analysis, the development and progression of the disease has been explored.

Among other things, Carla will look for trends of the distribution of the disease within the skeletons.

These new analyses could potentially aid today’s clinicians.

Professor Roger Francis, Chairman of the Paget’s Association, presented Carla with the award on the September 17 at the Annual General Meeting of the Charity.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Doreen for her tireless efforts on our behalf and congratulate Carla on being awarded the bursary,” he said. “We look forward to seeing her work progress”.

For more information contact The Paget’s Association’s Specialist Nurse, Diana Wilkinson, on 0161 799 4646.