What started as the idea for a book – to gather a small group of women all born on her birth date and write about their contrasting life experiences – quickly turned into a research study tracking the lives of women all born on exactly the same day.
The idea for Linda’s research study first came to her in 2010 when she met a lady in Cambodia who shared her date of birth. Eight years later and Linda is now connected with more than 150 women from all over the world that were born on the same date. Linda said it was initially very difficult to find the women but then she hit upon paid Facebook advertising and her group, many of whose members call themselves birthday twins, grew.
So far she has collected research data about areas such as satisfaction with life and attitudes towards ageing, and she will continue to study these areas over time as the women age. Many of these women are now connected in a closed Facebook group. “Some members are very active and are keen to meet others. In the past three years, we have organised small meetings in England, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States,” said Linda. “These Facebook contacts and meetings have introduced a new aspect to my research project – that of friendship and social connectedness, which are important contributors to mental health and wellbeing.”
Professor Gilmore sees this research project as a “lifetime adventure that is enormously satisfying both professionally and personally”. For the future of her project, her challenge is now to locate and connect with women in less developed countries, so her research can truly reflect the lives of all women sharing her birth date.
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