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Around three million people in the UK have kidney disease

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Kidney Research UK wins National film award

06 May 2020

We are pleased to announce that we have won a People’s Choice award at the 2020 Charity Film Awards. The film is about the impact medical research has had on the lives of people with a rare kidney condition beat stiff competition in the longform category and gained enough public votes to be crowned the winner in a virtual awards ceremony.

Head of Communications for Kidney Research UK, Dr Maria Tennant, said, “We’re thrilled to have won this award, and see that our film really resonated with the public. Showing the impact of research; to understand diseases better, that goes on to change lives and save lives is so important. Although today’s climate is challenging, we are continuing our vital work to keep research going, and the hope this brings to patients is more important than ever.”

The film, ‘Saving Lives – how genetics research changed the future for people with aHUS’, tells the story of Ros, a 27-year-old farrier who received life-saving treatment when her kidneys started to fail, and reveals how genetics research found a treatment which saved her.

A rare kidney condition, where fast treatment is vital

Ros Ford has a faulty gene which made her more likely to develop Atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS), a very rare kidney condition. aHUS is a life-threatening disease – it destroys the kidneys and prevents patients from having a transplant.

Life-saving treatment thanks to research

The film explains how research into the condition – funded by Kidney Research UK – was central to finding an effective treatment for aHUS. Professor David Kavanagh, who leads the team at Newcastle University, spoke about the impact of bringing research into treatment: “As a doctor, one of the most gratifying things was the fact that patients who had donated samples actually got to benefit in their own lifetime. This is a classic example of how you can turn bench research into bedside research. Within 15 years from the initial discovery, we were treating patients and stopping kidney failure.”

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