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In Remembrance of Dr. Margaret Grant MBE.

  • Posted on Dec 3, 2020

Dr. Margaret Grant MBE, a proud Dundonian and an important local charity figure, passed away peacefully yesterday at her home in Dundee surrounded by loving family. Margaret had been living with a series of long-term health conditions. She was 87.

Margaret was the founder of The Brittle Bone Society, the UK’s leading charity for the support of people with the rare bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Dundee in 2018, the year of the charity’s 50th Anniversary. She also received: Dundee Citizen of the year 1975, OIF (Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation (USA) award 1982 for hosting the first international conference for people with OI with another award from the OIF in 1990. In 1988 Margaret was given the Tunstall Telecoms National caring award.

Born in Dundee on 29th June 1933, Margaret is survived by her loving husband David and her daughter Yvonne, who has also served as a trustee of the charity for many years. The family want her to be remembered with happiness, laughter and smiles, especially for all the little children with OI, who were so close to her heart.

Margaret was born with OI and from an early age realised that there was no support for people with the condition and that medical professionals knew little or nothing about diagnosing or treating it. When her daughter Yvonne was born with OI some years later, very little had changed and in 1968 Margaret established the Brittle Bone Society. She was its driving force for decades and her outstanding achievement was recognised when she was awarded an MBE in 1989.

The Society now has thousands of members and supporters and works closely with NHS specialised hospitals and world leading healthcare professionals throughout the UK and beyond.

The chair of the charity Elaine Healey said “It is so very sad to lose our Margaret. We were all grateful and proud that Margaret could witness the Charity’s 50-year anniversary celebrations in Dundee in 2018. Margaret is loved so much by everyone from the Charity she created. Our condolences and thoughts are with David, Yvonne and all her family. Margaret devoted her life to raising awareness of OI. All of us who now enjoy improved support whilst living with the condition owe a debt of gratitude to Margaret for all the battles she fought and won for people living with this rare condition.

Chief Executive Patricia Osborne said she was privileged to meet Margaret a number of times whilst managing the operation of the Charity. Patricia commented on how sharp Margaret’s memory was, her attention to detail, her pearls of wisdom and sense of humour. Every note from Margaret included encouragement to keep positive, and stay cosy and warm.

Tributes from the Trustee Board, staff and the wider OI community worldwide have been pouring in. The charity’s Vice Chairman John Phillips stated “We will ensure Margaret’s memory is suitably honoured. Margaret was a woman of great importance in the Rare Disease movement. At the 50th anniversary celebrations in Dundee, she lit up the room – the affection of the OI community towards her was obvious”.

The Society continues to provide front line support to this day and raises thousands of pounds each year towards the supply of wheelchairs and equipment and to promote better care in the sector. Furthering research was important to Margaret and the Society’s research programme are now funding a number of important research projects. The history of the charity’s much prized early work that Margaret pioneered has been entrusted to the University of Dundee which is archiving and preserving the charity’s past in order to record its immense impact on the care of people with OI.

The Grant family would like to thank all those who have sent messages of sympathy and support and for beautiful floral tributes, but would respectfully ask that, going forward, people do not send flowers and instead consider making a donation to The Brittle Bone Society.

The funeral service will take place on Friday 18th December at Coldside Parish Church in Dundee at 1.15 and will be strictly invitation only and limited in numbers due to Covid restrictions. A crematorium service will take place thereafter at Dundee Crematorium.

The Charity also remind everyone, that we will get an opportunity to work with the family to present a fitting memorial service to the Life of Dr Margaret Grant MBE once restrictions are lifted.