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Kidney Research UK film featuring Newcastle University research is national award finalist

Kidney Research UK has made the finals of the Charity Film Awards 2020 with a film about the impact medical research has had on the lives of people with a rare kidney condition.

The virtual awards ceremony will be live-streamed on Tuesday April 21 from 7pm on the Charity Film Awards website, YouTube and Facebook channels.

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.

Marc Stowell, executive director – communications and income generation at Kidney Research UK, said: “Research changes lives and saves lives. This film celebrates the huge medical advances that research funded by Kidney Research UK has brought to people with aHUS. We are delighted to be through to the finals for this award and owe a huge thanks to Ros for sharing her story.”

Ros Ford, who lives in Devon, 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.

The film explains how research into the condition at Newcastle University – funded by Kidney Research UK – was central to finding an effective treatment for aHUS.

Professor David Kavanagh, who leads the research team at Newcastle University (pictured), 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.”

Now in its fourth year, the Charity Film Awards celebrates powerful and creative storytelling in the charity sector, and its ambassadors include Mariella Frostrup, Quentin Willson and Levison Wood. 65,000 members of the public voted for their favourite films to create the shortlist of 125 entries for the 2020 Charity Film Awards. The charities will now have their films judged by an expert panel, with the winners revealed in the Spring at a London awards ceremony.

You can watch the film at: