Michelle Eyre and her family had many encounters with doctors growing up.
Michelle Eyre and her family had many encounters with doctors growing up.

Broken bones a common occurrence for family

BROKEN bones were a common occurrence in Michelle Eyre's home when she was growing up.

She and her three siblings, all suffered from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a genetic bone disorder characterised by fragile bones that break easily and often referred to as brittle bone disease.

The disease will be in the spotlight next week on Monday, May 6 which is International Wishbone Day, a day designed to highlight the plight of those with the condition and spread awareness.

"I think it's good to get the word out there," Mrs Eyre said.

"Some people think we can sneeze and break a bone, but it's not like that."

Mrs Eyre and her siblings have the least serious of the four levels but that doesn't mean they were immune from the disease's effects.

"I've probably broken about nine bones," Mrs Eyre said.

"When I break two or more at once I count that as one.

"Once my brother broke both his arms in a motorbike accident and then I fell off my (bicycle) and broke both of my arms."

Mrs Eyre said she had now gone years without breaking a bone.

"We're just normal people," she said. "Some of the worst ones are in wheelchairs."

For more information about Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Wishbone Day, visit www.oif.org.


What is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?

  • A person is born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)
  • There are eight types or levels of OI
  • In addition to fractures, people with OI often have muscle weakness, hearing loss, fatigue, joint laxity, curved bones, scoliosis, brittle teeth and short stature
  • OI is caused by an error called a mutation on a gene that affects the body's production of the collagen found in bones, and other tissues. It is not caused by too little calcium or poor nutrition
  • A person with mild OI may experience a few fractures while those with the severe forms may have hundreds in a lifetime
  • Although fragile bones are the hallmark of OI, other medical problems, including loose joints, early hearing loss, brittle teeth, respiratory problems, and easy bruising are also part of the disorder

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