NHS Peer Leadership Academy (Part I)

Several months ago, Fiona tagged me in a Tweet about the NHS Peer Leadership Academy. The academy is a personal development programme jointly delivered by the NHS and an organisation called PeopleHub, and is geared towards people with an interest in life with a long-term health condition or disability, whether they’re patients, carers or family members. It focusses on how personalised care, in particular personal health budgets (PHBs), make a huge difference to quality of

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Me, Billy the Kid…and Mr. Right?

In September last year, I turned 30. My younger self always thought I’d be married by now. In my mind, it was just how life worked. I would finish secondary school and university. Then I would build a career, buy a house and somewhere in between all those milestones Mr. Right would appear. He would eventually be followed by children and we would be set. Funnily enough, a complex medical condition, multitude of scars and

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5 Things I’ll Never Forget:
Choosing to be Empowered

This post is Part 5 in a series based on a presentation I recently did. The rest of the posts can be found here. The longer I have been a renal patient and have got to know a very broad cross-section of our little “renal world”, the more motivated I’ve become to want to do something of value within this community, something to help other patients. I know I’ve written before about how lucky I

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A “Good Enough” Recipient?

Sometimes, I compare myself to other patients. Thanks to both my level of charity involvement and the wonders of social media, I am pretty well-connected to a large number of other renal patients, all in different situations and with different experiences. Some are “much worse” than me. They have stories, from a health perspective, a personal one, or in many cases both, that I cannot imagine having lived through. As the first anniversary of my

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The other side of the story; Dear Holly

Several months ago, I mentioned having written a letter to the family of my donor. I did this not only to say thank you, but also because I wanted his family to see that I was a real, live person whose life has been changed by their loved one. I also wrote it knowing that out of the relatively small percentage of transplant recipients who send letters, very few ever hear back, so it was highly

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