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Many of us conceptualize arthritis as something that happens late in life, as the body wears down. But for John Woods, this diagnosis came in his late 30s.

Having been active in sports for much of his life, John would have never predicted dealing with pain and immobility at an early age. But one day, shortly after leaving his career in the military, John found his leg giving out when walking. It wasn’t long after this that an MRI revealed John had osteoarthritis in his knee.

Today, at 43 years old, John’s life looks different. On his good days, when his pain is manageable, John is still able to play sports with friends. On others, however, he struggles with what many would consider normal, daily activities.

“On a 10-point scale, my pain ranges anywhere between 3 to 9 on a daily basis,” says John. “It’s hard to predict, but it’s always there in one way or the other.”

Based on the fact that the majority of osteoarthritis patients like John aren’t eligible for surgery, many individuals affected by this condition suffer a reduced quality of life characterized by pain and immobility. In response to this, Dalhousie’s Dr. Daniel Boyd and his biomaterials research team have developed a novel glass compound that can selectively block blood flow to the affected area, reducing pain and improving quality of life for osteoarthritis patients.

“I’m hopeful that Dalhousie researchers can market the technology they’ve discovered to offer a new treatment option for arthritis patients,” says John. “Life is short, and quality of life is so important. I am grateful to all those supporting these medical advancements through the Molly Appeal, which can ultimately help patients like me get back to a full, active, pain-free life.”