Why I decided to SHARE my blood for medical research

The word share surrounding by multi-coloured speech bubbles

Although I attend clinics at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on a regular basis, on account of my having inherited autosomal dominant polycystic kidney (ADPKD) disease from my dad, the last time I visited Ninewells Hospital in Dundee was when I accompanied a really close friend to her clinic appointment.

While I was waiting for her to finish, I got chatting to a woman in the waiting room who turned out to be a coordinator for SHARE. She told me about the scheme and I signed up straight away.

What is SHARE?

SHARE, the Scottish Health Research Register, is a new NHS Research Scotland initiative created to establish a register of people interested in participating in health research.

When you sign up for SHARE you agree to allowing them to use coded data in their various NHS computer records to check whether you might be suitable for health research studies.

One example is in allowing SHARE to use any leftover blood following routine clinical testing.

This can be incredibly useful when it comes to developing new tests, treatments and cures for a wide variety of health conditions.

Why I joined

Every time I visit the renal clinic—currently every six to nine months—I have blood taken to check my kidney function. They can’t possibly use it all when they do their tests, so I thought it sensible to give permission for my leftover blood to be used for research purposes.

As I write, there are currently 177,848 people registered.

You can find out more on the Register for SHARE website from NHS Scotland.

 

Baby #3 – 20 weeks scan

Ultrasound image of baby #3 at 21 weeks
Ultrasound image of baby #3 at 21 weeks

Today marked the start of the 21st week of Jane’s pregnancy. This morning we drove up to Ninewells hospital in Dundee for Jane’s 20 weeks ultrasound scan.

As you can see from the image above baby #3 (whom we discovered will be a brother to Reuben and Joshua: he’s a boy!) was facing down for the duration of the scan. We didn’t get a good look at his face sadly, but he appears to be doing really well the little miracle that he is.

Reuben and Joshua, who accompanied us to the appointment, were delighted to see and point at “BABY!” on the computer monitor.

Getting ready

This weekend it’s going to be my task to dismantle the bunk beds in the second guest bedroom in order to create nursery #2.  We’ve scoped out a programme of work to get things ready between now and the end of November.

Baby #3 is due to make an appearance on 27 January 2011.