Q&A with trustee Angela Watt
Our trustee Angela Watt is a registered renal nurse and has worked in renal care for 20 years. Angela, whose family has been affected by kidney disease for over five generations, tells us what sparked her interest in becoming a trustee for the charity and about her work in renal nursing.
Q. What inspired you to become a trustee for Kidney Research UK?
As part of my job I had seen first-hand the research funded by Kidney Research UK and as a family we had taken part in fundraising events for the charity. However I had often thought that my personal and professional experience might enable me to get involved with the charity in a more effective way. I mentioned this to Sandra Currie (Chief Executive) at an event we were both attending and she suggested to me I might want to look at the trustee vacancy. Although I was a bit daunted at first I was also very excited to be part of such a fantastic organisation.
Q. What does research into kidney disease mean to you, both as a trustee and a kidney patient yourself?
It’s about improving the experience of people with renal disease. I first worked in renal nursing in the 1980s at the same time as members of my family were receiving treatment for kidney disease. Thirty years later the care and experience of kidney patients and my family members has changed vastly and this is in no small part due to research.
Q. What research developments are you most excited about?
As a nurse I work with patients with a genetically inherited kidney disease and it is exciting to see how genetic sequencing is now providing a diagnosis for families who didn’t previously have one. But the developments that excite me the most are around the area of transplantation and the work that is being done to ensure that more kidneys are available for transplantation and that they last longer when they have been transplanted.
Q. What do you enjoy most about being a nurse specialising in renal care?
I really appreciate the relationships we build with our patients and their families. We will often care for them over a number of years, get to know them well and they get to know us well. We are there when they are going through life-changing experiences and although it can be hard to lose a patient, we also share in their joy when things go well. There’s nothing as satisfying as crossing a name off the dialysis schedule because they have been transplanted!
Q. What do you hope to achieve during your time as a trustee?
I have joined Kidney Research UK at a very exciting time with many exciting developments in the pipeline and I look forward to seeing these through. I would like to encourage my fellow patients and professionals to get involved in research. But most importantly I want to raise awareness about kidney disease to those outside renal. There are many myths around kidney disease that need to be expelled and we need to let people know that it can happen to anyone at any time.
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