Why I SHARED
Many medical research studies need healthy people as well as people with particular conditions. So even if you are healthy you can make a vast contribution by joining SHARE. If you are over 11 years of age and want to help, click here to register. It only takes a minute to make a real difference.
The following people joined SHARE because they wanted to make a difference to healthcare. They know that only through medical research, can we develop new treatments for diseases.
Pat thanks health researchers for diagnosing a blocked artery, while she participated in a study. “I was asked to take part in a research programme in 2021, I can’t remember the title but it was to do with Diabetes and heart problems (I had neither, but that was needed too). I went to the research centre at the hospital, where I went through a number of different tests including an ECG and a CT Scan. All in all, it was a very interesting day as I had never had them before. If I remember correctly, I was there for about 2 hours. A couple of weeks later I had a phone call from the Cardiologist who was leading the research, who informed me that I had a blocked artery and, therefore, couldn’t take part any further with the research. They contacted my GP, and I was prescribed a statin, which I will now be taking for the rest of my life. I am so grateful that I was asked and agreed to take part in the research programme, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about my blocked artery until it was maybe too late. I would recommend registering with SHARE to anyone who is thinking about doing it and, in fact, my daughter has recently registered. It’s good to know that you might be helping future medical outcomes.”
Ken, aged 66, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He runs his own photography business in Orkney. In May 2022, he suffered some recurrent urine infections and after initial successful treatment with antibiotics, his symptoms returned. This was quickly followed by severe problems passing urine accompanied by a significant weight loss. He was admitted to hospital and subsequently received the devastating news that he had prostate cancer which had already spread to his bones.
Ken is still coming to terms with the trauma and shock surrounding his diagnosis and has appreciated the support of his family, friends, and the wider Orkney community. As he awaits further treatment, he is determined to help raise awareness of the disease in the hope that other men will get themselves checked out if they experience any similar symptoms. He has also taken time to sign up to SHARE as he would like to participate any future research projects related to his illness. Read more about Ken’s story…
Mrs W. experienced cancer treatment. “When I heard about the chance to take part in a research study, I felt the need to help and share my experiences so that researchers can find new ways to improve treatments and care. All I had to do was complete a questionnaire about the after-effects of cancer treatment. I was happy to help, knowing that this information will be used to improve health care for people who have had a cancer diagnosis. Research is the only way doctors can find out what treatments and medications work or don’t work”.
Mrs R. wanted to help health research.
“I am part of the register as I want to make a difference to future health and pay back the NHS for the care I am receiving. The team at SHARE and the Researchers were very helpful and informative. The monthly email reporting was no problem. I am happy to be called upon to assist again if required”.
Mrs H. is keen to help research as she and her family suffer from medical conditions.
"I regularly have blood taken due to having Neutropenia, also my two sons have Von Willebrand disorder and my parents and grandparents have an extensive complicated medical family history. Being in the ambulance service gives me an insight to many ailments and diseases, many of which can only benefit from research. To be contacted regarding SHARE whilst I was at Ninewells Hospital was good as I am extremely keen to assist by allowing any remaining blood from my samples to be used in medical research."
Mr B. has a diagnosis of Marfan syndrome.
"I am 57 years old and have worked within the ambulance service for over 32 years. I am keenly aware of the dedicated work involved in all realms of medical research and that access to samples is fundamental for research to progress for the benefit of all. My family has suffered from Marfan syndrome and it is down to research that can bring benefit to future generations. On this occasion I am extremely happy to have been able to give consent for any remaining blood taken from me to be used in research."
Mr S. was happy to help a research study looking at the benefits of a new medication.
"I took part in a research study which was testing a new medication. All I had to do was take one tablet a day for 2 weeks and attend the clinic for regular check-ups. Before I was given the medication, everything was explained to me and the nurses answered all of my questions. The tablet I took was either the new medication or a placebo. It felt good to help doctors test new medication and I knew I would play a small part in helping find new drugs to treat conditions".
Ms R. suffers from severe allergies.
"Both my younger brother and I have severe and potentially life-threatening allergies. It is only through research that the NHS can develop new treatments for conditions such as these."
SHARE is the largest register of volunteers in the UK and aims to make it easier for researchers to help carry out pioneering medical research. SHARE also seeks permission to use any leftover blood taken after routine clinical testing for research purposes.