Essential thrombocythemia (ET)
    Patient Profile: MPNRF Patient Impact Council

    When Bridget Broaden returned from serving in the Persian Gulf War, she still had symptoms she had experienced for several years, including fatigue, dry skin, and muscles that felt weak, achy, tender, and stiff. But now her fatigue was increased and she had migraines, burning and throbbing in her hands and the soles of her feet.

    When her military career ended in 1993, her primary care physician and rheumatologist in Illinois kept her on an aspirin treatment regimen for more than 20 years before she was finally diagnosed with ET with a JAK2 mutation in 2015. She began taking anagrelide in addition to aspirin, then a few years later changed to a hydroxyurea/aspirin combo.

    “My connections with the MPN community started with the MPN Research Foundation in 2015,” Bridget recalls. She was told there was a shortage of anagrelide and reached out to MPNRF for help. “For that, I’m forever grateful and will always be ‘Team MPN Research Foundation.’”

    In 2019 she attended a Patient-Focused Drug Development meeting MPNRF organized to inform the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) about the need for more and better treatments for MPN patients.

    As a member of the 2024-2026 Patient Impact Council, Bridget is excited to become involved with research grants for the first time – most interested in offering input about research topics and their patient implications. She also speaks about the need for more awareness and attention to MPNs.

    “I have osteoarthritis in the neck, back, hips and knees. Some of the symptoms that I experience are the same that I experience with ET,” says Bridget. “I think more testing should be done in situations like this to ensure that physicians are treating the correct ailment. I think so much emphasis is being placed on arthritis that my blood disease tends to get overlooked.”

    She adds: “I want to be a part of the resolution, make a meaningful connection, get informed as well as assist others by being an advocate and using my voice.”

    These represent first person accounts of real people living with Essential Thrombocythemia, Polycythemia Vera, and Myelofibrosis. It does not represent the views or opinions of anyone associated with MPN Research Foundation. Please consult your doctor before taking any action to manage your health.

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