IOF deeply regrets the death of Linda Edwards.
Linda, who was 54 and had been the director of the UK National Osteoporosis Society since its creation in 1986, had been battling cancer for the past year. Linda died on Monday 16 December 2002.
She was a valued member of the global osteoporosis movement and was a member of the Board of IOF.
Linda became the first non-doctor and woman elected to the Board of the International Osteoporosis Foundation in 1996. She established the Education Grants programme and set up a network of support to encourage patient societies to be established and flourish in every country in the world. Linda hosted the first meeting of the World Congress of Patient Societies at Bath in June 1988, establishing a strong annual forum for the exchange of ideas and support for new and existing national societies.
Those who met Linda were struck by her humanity and deep caring for people with osteoporosis. Many were touched by her compassion and never ending determination to vastly reduce the numbers of cases of the disease and increase awareness.
Over the past 16 years Linda established the National Osteoporosis Society as one of the most rapidly growing health charities in Britain.
The National Osteoporosis Society now has a growing membership of 27,000 and 130 nationwide groups, working closely with a team of doctors to ensure scientific accuracy. There is a strong scientific membership of 2,000 health professionals.
Much of this growth in the charity's work and awareness of the disease across the UK is largely due to the pioneering work by Linda. Her effective lobbying of Government resulted in a new UK strategy for osteoporosis in 1998 and official Guidelines for Osteoporosis in 1999 and the main inclusion of osteoporosis in the National Service Framework for Older People in 2001.
Under the auspices of the National Osteoporosis Society Linda established an open door policy in the UK to encourage other patient societies to visit, learn and exchange ideas. Dozens of the worldwide osteoporosis family of societies have attended at Bath to take advantage of this service.
In 1996 Linda launched the first World Osteoporosis Day, now established globally in perpetuity on 20 October each year, to provide an international focus for public and government attention for this neglected disease.
To honour Linda's achievements, IOF has initiated the "IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award", an award of 20,000 SFR given to a deserving IOF member national society. Further information