Lena's Story

Lena has a long Shetlandic family history. She has since moved away from the islands but believes they never leave you. Read her story here.

VIKING Volunteer Lena Armstrong sitting on a bench in a park

You can leave an island but it never leaves you.

Generations of my father’s family lived on the small island of Papa Stour. On my mother's side, generations lived in and around the district of Sand on the west side of Shetland. I left Shetland for Edinburgh Art College about 48 years ago. Shetland is in my blood and, although I now live in Glasgow, I still love to go back to see family and friends.

There is a high incidence of Asthma in my family and I often wonder if this could be genetic. Having read about the Viking II research project I decided I would participate. The process was simple and easy to do. With four grandparents from Shetland, my saliva sample can play a part in helping understand how genetics contributes to different diseases.