2009 Update and my Christmas wish

Nearly a year has passed since we started this forum and nearly a year since we all started working together – Andy Thomas and his marvellous kidney Cancer Resource, Clive Stone and his inspirational “Justice for kidney Cancer Patients”, Julia Black , and I with the Kidney Cancer Support network, our lovely Jane Thompson with the Jane’s Journey film, Bill Savage and his work with N I C E and the Cancer Networks … so many people joined together with a common aim to try and make a better, easier world for the kidney Cancer Patients who come after us – I think we have succeeded in our small way and I just know the work will continue.

Huge thanks is due to all our friends at the James Whale Fund for kidney Cancer especially to James Whale for giving us his energy and the chance to make a difference . Nick Turkentine for his skill and professionalism and bringing together such a good cohesive team and Sarah – organiser extraordinaire – for looking out for us all and making things happen !!! and to Jo, Nikki, Sharon, Paul, Malcolm and the rest of the gang who do such good work for to improve the lot of kidney cancer patients – Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We have started some projects this year which should help change the way Kidney Cancer Patients receive their treatment in the future. We had a KC patient delegate at all the major political party conferences this year seeking to raise awareness of kidney Cancer with Politicians and reinforce the need for additional treatment options. We started the online Kidney Cancer Nursing Course for Urology CNS’s which will give them additional skills and knowledge specific to kidney cancer. We have had expressions of interest in joining the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer Medical Advisory Board and we already work in partnership with many of the leading renal Oncologists in the UK. We have produced updated patient information leaflets, produced “ U Tube” videos and learning tools and our aim is to continue this area of work.

Globally on behalf of the Fund I have been working with friends from Canada & Germany to bring together patient advocates from various KC groups from around the world to form a coalition to promote research and provide a stronger voice for patients. The James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer has been talking to the Regulatory bodies in the UK and the EU to make sure we get a place at the table whenever Kidney Cancer is on the Agenda.

And of course many of us met up at the 1st James Whale Fund Kidney Cancer Patient Day in London November, this was a great day with patients working alongside expert renal Clinicians and according to the feedback was a huge success and will be an annual event in the future.

As well as all the above we have continued to support individual patients & local KC patient groups ( and we still need many more). We have provided feedback to the Pharmaceutical companies about patient information, and worked with the NHS to provide a kidney cancer patient perspective at various training days and conferences for nurses and Clinicians.

So all in all it’s been quite a year. If any of the above inspires you – please do get in touch because we always need more volunteers as there seems to be so much going on and so few hours to do it in !!!

As always we have had our low points and I have lost some very dear friends to this awful disease; friends who played an important role in securing the approval of Sunitinib our first N I C E approved drug to treat metastatic disease; patients like Ken Potts, Jean Murphy, Stephen Dallison, Kathleen Devonport, Kay Hopkins, David Basey and sadly many more.

It’s because we have to change things and ensure other patients never have to go through what these patients endured that we will work even harder in 2010 to make sure we get the best possible treatment approved for everyone who needs it.

We have some wonderful Clinicians working alongside us, and lots of people like those mentioned above prepared to give up their time to help us . In short we are making a difference and so we shall keep on keeping on.

I hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow, but of course we know it will be a difficult time for others who will be missing husbands or wives, mothers or fathers so at some point tomorrow please raise your glass to our absent friends.

My wish is for everyone to have a Healthy and Peaceful 2010,

With love from Rose Woodward

Posted under Cancer Drugs, General, Oxford Support Group Demonstration 27-Aug-08, Patient Day 18thNov2009, Rose Woodward

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