Our mission is to provide help to children with renal and urological disorders, through welfare assistance, supporting staff training and development, providing equipment, supporting research and other activities.
This mission focuses our efforts on two distinct areas; long term research and shorter term patient and medical support. We have funded many special projects over the years.
The children and parents impacted by renal and urological disorders are all hopeful in the advances in medical science will provide but on a more immediate basis, often require a less scientific and experimental led approach and simply require assistance with everyday caring.
The AHCKF supports families who may need financial assistance or specific items in relation to a child’s treatment. Financial assistance can be as simple as helping families with food costs at times when their child may be having an extended stay at Alder Hey, petrol costs where visits to other hospitals are required to the purchase of items for the home that support the care of the child, particularly during home dialysis treatment.
Case Study ‘Dialysis Equipment Storage’
The Fund received a request from a child who was undertaking dialysis treatments at home as the equipment involved was fairly inconvenient in her bedroom and not the nicest thing to look at or play around. The Fund helped by purchasing storage furniture for the child’s bedroom that could store all equipment when not in use and make her bedroom a fun place to be again.
Equipment has been purchased for the wards that ranges from major items such as haemo-filtration and dialysis units to basic craft equipment such as paper, pencils and crayons. One recent donation made by the AHCKF to the D2 Renal Ward was an X-Box 360 and games which has been well received and enjoyed by patients (and no doubt parents and carers alike!).
Case Study ‘Specialist Clinical Equipment’
Several years ago Dr Caroline Sanders PhD (Consultant Nurse) requested the Kidney Fund provided equipment to enable the development of a new clinical treatment ‘Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Neuro-modulation’. Earlier studies indicated that the treatment may help some children. The equipment was purchased and the treatment was successful. It was lovely to receive a copy of a letter that one of the patients sent to Caroline and hear what a difference the treatment made…
I just thought I’d write to say thank you for all your help!
The new treatment I am having has really worked it has changed my life so thank you for picking me to be a person you tried it on.
I am now a more confident person and I don’t have to worry as much about going to the toilet. Also I’d like to say thank you to Sarah, Shirley and Andrea for all their help too!
Thank you for letting me have all the different treatments over the years because they have all made me feel a much better person.
Staff are helped with their professional development through funding for courses and conferences and in addition, the AHCKF often funds roles within the hospital team that it sees as beneficial for patients but may not form part of hospital budgeting.
Case Study ‘Urology Play Specialist Role’
The AHCKF conducted research and identified that the role of Urology Play Specialist (UPS) could add great value to urology patients at Alder Hey. The UPS role was funded by the AHCKF and has since developed further with additional funding being provided for specialist training on intervention techniques that cause less pain and distress, as well as reducing the need for procedures under general anaesthetic. The role has received much interest and was recently recognised by the European Society of Paediatric Urology
In 2005 two Fellowships were established with the University of Liverpool to undertake research into renal and urological disorders. The long term goal of this kidney research (funded by AHCKF) is to work towards designing a stem cell-based therapy to repair damaged kidney tissue in order to prevent renal failure and the requirement for dialysis and transplantation. This research is highly technical and pioneering which therefore required a significant longer term funding support by the AHCKF.
Case Study ‘Kidney Stem Cell Project’
Kidney Stem Cell Project finding began in 2005 with the AHCKF funding the appointment of a PhD student (Cristina Fuente Mora) who worked on isolating stem cells from kidneys.
Following this, PhD student Egon Ranghini received funding that then proved how these cells could be used to populate the kidney.
More recently (in 2010) Sandra Rak-Raszewska started a 2 year fellowship funded by AHCKF to establish kidney injury models and test if the embryonic stem cells can help repair damaged renal tissues. In April 2001 Joni Downes was appointed to support Sandra’s research.
Additional support to the stem cell project is provided by Dr Patricia Murray, Dr Simon Kenny and Dr Bettina Wilm.