Paget’s Awareness Day, on January 11, is all about educating others on the effects of this bone disease. Bones, much like blood, skin, and organs, continually repair and renew throughout the course of human life. Paget’s Disease affects that process in such a way that bones can become deformed or fractured over an extended period of time. The most common areas affected by Paget’s are the spine, skull, pelvis, and femur.
History of Paget’s Awareness Day
English Baronet Sir James Paget discovered this disease of the bone during his years of pathological research. He published his first paper on the affliction in 1877, where he stated his suspicion that the symptoms of the disease were the result of an inflammatory reaction occurring in the bone tissues. Decades after his death, researchers discovered the true nature of the disease.
Sir Paget’s interest in the disease began with a coachman with significant pain in his lower limbs who visited the hospital where Paget was working. Upon examination, Paget saw that there were deformities and enlargements in the man’s thigh and shin bones. Over the course of 26 years, Paget continued to observe and offer pain management treatments to his patient while researching the nature of the disease. Eventually, the coachman’s legs became so bowed that he could not bring his knees together, and his skull grew so large that he couldn’t fit into his old hats.
In 1973, Ann Stansfield started the Paget’s Association in an effort to fund research so that her husband, Alf, could receive better treatment for his diagnosis. Stansfield expressed three primary missions for establishing the organization, one of which was to raise awareness about the disease among health professionals and the public.
The first Paget’s Awareness Day was held on January 11, 2019, which was also the 205th anniversary of Sir Paget’s birth. On this day each year, those in the Paget’s Association and its community are encouraged to wear blue and do at least one small thing to inform the public about this painful ailment.
Paget’s Awareness Day timeline
With the help of Dr. Allan St. John Dixon, Ann Stansfield establishes the Paget’s Association.
Ann Stansfield, who began the Paget’s Association and pioneered the search for a cure, is awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her efforts.
The first support group for patients with Paget’s Disease is established in Manchester, England.
The National Association for the Relief of Paget’s Disease celebrates its first Paget’s Awareness Day.
Paget’s Awareness Day FAQs
What treatments are available for those with Paget’s?
The primary treatment for this disease comes in the form of bisphosphonates, which inhibit the bone remodeling process and therefore slow the deforming effects of Paget’s.
How would I know if I had Paget’s Disease?
If you’re experiencing significant pain in the limbs, spine, or skull or a consistent feeling of abnormal warmth spreading over a particular part of your body, consider having your blood tested for Paget’s.
When do symptoms begin to arise?
Most Paget’s patients do not experience significant symptoms until after the age of 50.
How to Observe Paget’s Awareness Day
The official supporting color for Paget’s Disease is royal blue. In your efforts to raise awareness to the public, you could proudly deck yourself out in the color. When friends and family compliment your blue ensemble, be sure to explain to them why you’ve chosen that color for the day. Visit the Paget’s Association website to purchase blue merchandise with the official logo sewn on.
Run for Paget’s
The Paget’s Association has called for any supporters to combine a healthy habit with disease advocacy by participating in a long-distance running competition specifically devoted to the search for a cure for Paget’s Disease. Sign up for your city’s next 5k and wear royal blue as you pound the pavement in support of suffering patients.
Simply talk about it
Did you know that Paget’s Disease is actually not a rare occurrence in the human body? Not everyone with Paget’s experiences symptoms. Share these facts and more with someone you know on January 11th this year. Who knows, you may meet someone who has been affected.
5 Facts About Bones That Everyone Should Know
You have more than you think!
The human body houses 206 individual bones, all of which help hold the structure of our frames.
Legs do most of the work
The longest, strongest bone of the human body is the femur or the thigh bone.
They’re not stagnant
While bones stop lengthening at the end of puberty, their density and strength change continuously as we age.
Milk for bones is a myth
Harvard ran a large-scale study on the effect of cow’s milk on bone health and discovered that there is no correlation between the two.
All bones touch — except one
The V-shaped hyoid bone, located at the base of the tongue, is the only bone that floats all on its own without being attached to any other bone.
Why Paget’s Awareness Day is Important
No more lonely Paget’s patients
Since Paget’s is not a well-known disease, many patients with the diagnosis can feel isolated or unsupported as they manage chronic pain and decreased mobility. By joining the forces for advocacy on this day, we can help those with Paget’s Disease feel a bit more supported in their battles.
It boosts research efforts
The result of increased awareness is that more and more people may choose to become members of the Paget’s Association. The contributions made to this association will go on to fund research so that we can learn more about mitigating the symptoms of this medical dilemma.
Community events reward advocates for their work
For those in the world who advocate for Paget’s patients year-round, January 11th is a time to gather over feasts of delicious food and celebrate the efforts of the previous year. The Paget’s Association hosts many events on this day each year, including theatrical productions, craft shows, and tea parties so that their members can meet and cultivate friendships.
Paget’s Awareness Day dates