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Case study: Railway Management engineer from Ashford helping find a cure for colitis

Shaun is taking part in the IBD Bioresource study, part of the NIHR BioResource.

IBD Bioresource was established to help research into the causes of Crohn’s and colitis. By understanding which genes and environmental factors are involved, and their impact on the immune system, researchers may discover: the reasons why some people get Crohn’s or colitis, why some of the existing treatments work in some patients but not in others, how better treatments might be developed and whether it might be possible to prevent or cure IBD. To do this, researchers need to be able to access IBD patients based on their known genetic makeup.

Shaun has joined a panel of thousands of volunteers with Crohn’s disease or colitis from all over the country who are contributing information about their condition. Shaun explained why he chose to take part in the study.

Shaun said: “18 months ago when I last had my colitis check at Kent and Canterbury Hospital I was asked whether I would participate in the IBD Bioresource study. I gave a blood sample and completed some paperwork to say I would take part.”

“I was contacted a while later and asked to fill in some questionnaires. The first survey asked if I was happy for my information to be shared anonymously and the second larger survey asked about the disease and how it affected me. I will complete more questionnaires in the future.  

“I said yes to signing up to the research to help others and because it is always interesting to find out more about the disease that is affecting you. Completing questionnaires does not take long and so if completing them can make things better for everyone else and for me then surely it is a good thing and something you should do. It is an individual’s choice about whether to take part in research or not, but if you are asked to do it, then do it. I can’t give blood so this is my way of giving something back.”

IBD Bioresource has recruited over 34,000 participants of the 50,000 target and is recruiting from hospitals across the country including 13 hospitals from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.