It’s minutes to me – but it could make a big difference

A few extra minutes at hospital for patients could help researchers make great strides forward in treatment for patients.

That’s how Laura Washington looks on her experience of taking part in research studies at Salford Royal.

Laura, 34, signed up to be an organ donor as soon as she was able and says she’s always happy to give extra samples of blood or answer extra questions to help researchers.

She was born with kidney problems and had her left kidney removed at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital at the age of 14. She’s been left with scarring on her right kidney and has been seeing specialist Dr Grahame Wood every six months since she was 18.

But she’s adamant that having a chronic condition doesn’t hold her back in any way and she leads a full, normal life, spurred on by the way her mum urged her to ‘just get on with it’ as a child.

Laura, who works full-time as a member service adviser for a private healthcare firm, said: “I look after my health, drinking a lot of water to flush my kidney, eating healthily and never smoking. I’m not disabled in any way and I know that past research has helped us to get where we are today.

“When I was asked about taking part in research myself, I couldn’t see any reason why not. I’ve had a few extra tubes of blood taken and answered questionnaires. It has only taken a few minutes and it could make such a difference in the future – if not a cure, then something that will prolong people’s lives. It’s really easy and it’s helping other people with kidney problems as well as myself. You never know when there might be a breakthrough.”

Laura has donated samples to both the Salford Kidney Study and to NURTuRE,  the first kidney biobank for chronic kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome covering England, Scotland and Wales. The NURTuRE collection of patient tissue*, samples and clinical information from nearly 4,000 patients will provide a resource for researchers looking for new ways to treat and care for kidney patients.

The Salford Kidney Study, now one of the largest international kidney studies encompassing 3,200 people with kidney disease recruited since it first opened in 2002, collects similar information and samples locally for use in a range of studies.

  • This is only surplus tissue from a routine kidney biopsy already taken. There is no requirement for additional invasive procedures.