The family of a patient who battled kidney disease and a brain tumour, has generously donated £20,000 to our Renal (kidney) and Neuro (brain) units.
Ben King, from Burnley, was treated at our hospital for brain and kidney disease. He sadly lost his battle last year, but before he died, he set up a charity called BK’s Heroes to help raise awareness of brain and kidney disease.
Ben’s family and friends have continued to fundraise in memory of Ben and to raise money for our Renal and Neuro departments to say thank you to the team for the care given to Ben.
The donation, which will be used to fund Renal and Neuro research staff and projects, fulfils Ben King’s original vision for the charity, which was to donate £10,000 to our Neuro department and £10,000 to our Renal department – that target has been exceeded and the family have raised a massive £53,000 so far.
Nichola Verstraelen, our Senior Research Nurse, said, “We are extremely grateful for this fantastic contribution to Renal research. We want to give people with Renal diseases the opportunity to take part in finding answers and improving their quality of life. The money donated will help us fund research staff and projects as part of our mission to find more treatments and hopefully cures. We are looking forward to having the ‘Ben King's: Legacy Research Nurse or Researcher’ as part of the team.”
Mark Brady, our Renal Clinical Director and Consultant, said: “Ben was admitted to our hospital several times, and I had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times. He faced repeated major challenges with such dignity and I honestly can’t recall meeting a more determined, friendly and upbeat patient. In my career, he’s one of the most memorable patients I’ve encountered, and you can tell where he got it from as well, as his family have the same approach. Thank you very much to everyone involved with BK’s Heroes, this donation will go a long way in making Ben’s legacy of helping others a reality.”
Dr. Andrew Nixon, our Senior Clinical Fellow in Renal, said: “The donation from BK’s Heroes is very generous. Research is such a fundamental part of healthcare. We are always striving to improve our understanding of disease management and improve the care that we provide our patients. The incredible donation from BK’s Heroes will support us in these efforts.”
Dr Taha Lilo, one of our Neurosurgical Research Fellows, said: “Our vision is to have strong links with local charities like BK’S Heroes. Not only by investing the donation in brain tumour research, but also by taking part in their activities and building an organic community that exists in the real world. This generous donation will be invested in the progression of ongoing research and the development of new research projects in the field of Neuro-Oncology. As a department, our links with The University of Central Lancashire are stronger than ever, which opens endless possibilities by bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and a world class research facility together in the war against brain tumour.”
Theresa Heap, one of our Research Nurses, said: “Renal research is so important because patients can have such a tough time with their illness. This donation will play a vital role in helping us to improve outcomes and help patients have a better quality of life.”
The BK's Heroes charity is celebrating it’s first birthday. Ben’s mum Fiona said: “It has become a full time job for the family because of how much success we’ve had, and it’s a great feeling knowing that we are helping others. A lot of people have been touched by Ben’s story and have been holding different events to raise money, which is brilliant. I am hoping to become an altruistic kidney donor so I can try and help other families who are suffering like we have.”
A BK's Heroes summer ball is being held in June, to buy tickets and find out more, visit the BK Heroes Facebook page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/BKS-Heroes-1046150468729553/.