Andrea's Story

Andrea was originally born in Edinburgh and her family has a very interesting history related to our studies. Read more here.

Andrea picture with her husband

I was born in Broxburn, near Edinburgh, to 2 Shetland parents who started their careers in teaching there. They were unable to get jobs in Shetland at that time. My family moved back to Shetland in 1975, following a couple of years in Golspie, Sutherland. There, my sister was born and my dad was offered a teaching post in Lerwick. This meant we were brought up with all of our extended family close by. All of my grandparents were Shetland born and so were my parents. Most of my extended family still live in Shetland.  I lived in Shetland until moving to Aberdeen to study and eventually meeting my husband, living in Aberdeenshire and raising my own 2 children. My children are also taking part in the survey with 2 Shetland born grandparents.

My reason for taking part in this study started from the first Viking study where some of my family talked about taking part. My sister took part and was identified as one of the participants with Long QT. I was then tested to see if I carried this genetic condition. I guess my curiosity, and general interest in science, took the better of me. I watched Dr Wilson’s lecture, which he gave at the Shetland Museum, online. For me,

I couldn’t see why I wouldn’t take part in Viking II as it is so straight forward. A quick questionnaire and a saliva sample, which potentially can help further developments in genetics and then possibly support/treatment/awareness for many people not just in Orkney and Shetland but beyond.

Some may think “why bother” or “I’ll just leave it for others to do” but everybody is unique. They can provide information to this study which could then result in making a difference. 

I have a lot to thank the original study for, as i now have family members being supported medically with Long QT. So, supporting this study is also something I can give back to Dr Wilson and his team.