We’re running a community preventative health initiative over the next 3 months, to raise awareness of genetic haemochromatosis (iron overload) across rural Aberdeenshire in memory of local resident Miranda McHardy, who passed away suddenly aged 59 from GH in Spring 2023.

This project is being undertaken in collaboration our charity’s Scottish volunteers, our Friends Against Iron Overload and other supporters, including Miranda's family and friends, who were determined to transform their loss into something positive for the local community.

With their support - and following several months of community fundraising - we're now able to fund this programme with the support of our Haemochromatosis UK Friends.

We will be contacting over 25,000 households across Aberdeenshire to offer a free genetic health check by post for the condition. This will include information about the condition and its symptoms.

Genetic haemochromatosis is most common undiagnosed genetic condition in Scotland. Recent research suggests that around 1 in 113 people in Scotland are pre-disposed to the condition, but fewer than 1 in 20 have been diagnosed. 

The charity's programme is bringing together local elected representatives, MSPs at the Scottish Parliament and Scottish MPs at Westminster with local GPs, pharmacies, libraries and community groups to raise awareness of genetic haemochromatosis and provide preventative health screening for the condition.

Chief Executive of Haemochromatosis UK, Neil McClements said: “We were inspired by Miranda's family & friends' determination to transform their loss into something positive for others. We are delighted to collaborate on this initiative. Miranda was dearly loved by many in her community and further afield. We hope this is a fitting tribute to her memory through helping others to secure a life-transforming diagnosis for this treatable yet common genetic condition."

Miranda's sister Louisa Leader explained the tragic circumstances of their loss : "My beloved sister Miranda McHardy died in March this year as a result of late diagnosis of Haemochromatosis.  Her early and untimely death left behind three devastated children and her husband Julian, not to mention three siblings, nephews nieces and a close extended family."

Louisa remembers Miranda's contribution to the community fondly : "Miranda was one of life’s givers, constantly caring for everyone around her, she was a counsellor and was a volunteer Samaritan for many years.  She has left a huge hole in our lives and we are all determined to try to raise awareness of this genetic condition. If Miranda had known what she had she would still be here now.  She had chronic arthritis, type one diabetes, heart and liver damage all of which was completely preventable if she had known that she had haemachromatosis...

This is why screening is absolutely crucial, early  diagnosis will literally save lives and the NHS thousands of pounds treating the chronic conditions which result from iron overload."

Haemochromatosis UK is proud to dedicate this preventative health initiative to Miranda's memory, in grateful thanks for the life and contribution of a wonderful lady who helped so many people, in so many ways.

If you do not live in the screening area, but would like to order a genetic haemochromatosis test, you can do so by clicking the button below!

Order a genetic test for haemochromatosis

As a charity we receive no NHS or government funding. Everything we do, including our screening initiatives, is funded by donations. If you're able to chip in towards the cost of this work, please make a one-off donation no matter how small or join as a Friend - it will make a big difference!