Skip to content

Meet our lay advisory group

Our lay advisory group (LAG) drive and strengthen patient and public involvement within Kidney Research UK and  influence change externally. They ensure kidney patients are a key aspect in all of our work.

Miranda Scanlon

Miranda Scanlon

Lay advisory group lead

"I have polycystic kidney disease and had a kidney transplant back in 2006, with a kidney donated by my sister. I have also had both of my polycystic kidneys removed, in an operation called a bilateral nephrectomy, which was major surgery and took a while to recover from.

I’ve had a varied career, from cytogenetics research to tax accounting, antenatal teaching to charity management. For many years I have worked on improving people’s experience of health care particularly in maternity and also in kidney health, with a keen interest in health data.

As Lay Advisory Group Lead, I work closely with the group and with the public and patient involvement staff team to identify and take up opportunities to embed patient experiences and views wherever we can, into all aspects of the charity’s work, such as in research funding decisions, policy work and communications with the public."

Asian lady with long dark hair, white blouse and dark jacket

Tejal Amin

"I have 20+ years experience in leading, designing and executing large-scale change and transformation programmes. A mother of two sons, I am adept at balancing career and family responsibilities.

"I have a keen interest in kidney disease and understanding how the care provision continues to evolve to meet the needs of patients. My father suffered from chronic kidney disease and was on peritoneal dialysis treatment for 5+ years. I have witnessed first-hand the impact that this treatment has on the whole family and beyond.

"As a lay advisory member, I am looking to apply my professional skills and practical experience to support the transforming dialysis care initiatives."

Fez Awan

Fez Awan

"I was born with chronic kidney disease, and I have had three kidney transplants in my lifetime so far and I have used all modalities of dialysis. I also have to manage a skin condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa.

"I have multiple volunteering roles to help support and advocate for patients, some being NHSBT Organ Donation Ambassador and Chair of Renal Patient Led Advisory Network (RPLAN). As I was born with kidney failure, I have found many ways to manage and adapt to different treatments at different points of my life, which have affected friendships, aspects of isolation, and education, to name a few things.

"Chronic kidney disease can really affect you mentally just as much as physically, but together as a community I feel we can all support each other, and break down barriers where and when needed."

Ama Basoah

Ama Basoah

Bio coming soon!

Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett

"I'm Richard, a lifelong kidney patient, born with Alport Syndrome a few decades ago! The exact illness was identified when I was 5 or 6. I have been extremely lucky to have received living donor transplants, from both of my parents following kidney failure. These were in 1997 and 2004 but I have had experienced dialysis along the journey.

"I am an active member of the Transplant Sport community, competing for my team, Guys Hospital at the British Transplant Games, hoping to qualify to represent in Australia in 2023.

"I am very excited to be part of this group, which has a diverse background of kidney experiences.  I'd like to become more involved in promoting the fantastic work that Kidney Research UK do and am very keen to directly represent kidney patients and help shape the patient journey too!"

Jelina standing on a bridge during her holiday

Jelina Berlow-Rahman

"I have been a kidney transplant recipient since December 2009 after a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in 1997.  I am now the Senior Director of Berlow Rahman Hassan Ltd, having established my own law firm whilst on haemodialysis.

"I have competed in the transplant games where I have met wonderful athletes that do not allow their transplant define them.  I spend my time being involved with Kidney Research UK through fundraising, being an ambassdaor and helping with the the peer educator program, along with supporting other charities and organisations working with asylum seekers and refugees and helping to empower women."

Jelina is also gaining her karate belts, plays tennis, and enjoys on her fine arts. She is a mum and a wife.

Melina Frieland

Melina Frieland

"I’m delighted to be joining the Lay Advisory Group. My youngest son has chronic kidney disease which has led to complex health needs, he has received both peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis whilst waiting for a transplant.

"His older brother has ASD, ADHD and Tourette syndrome so I have a vested interest in advocating for improvements in paediatric mental health support. I am passionate about promoting access to educational materials for families and carers and have a strong desire to see continued improvement in paediatric care, including ascertaining and resolving inequalities in care and transplantation.

"I believe that all research, where appropriate, should be mindful and inclusive of the younger generation. I have a background in property and finance, two demanding dogs and one, slightly less demanding husband! Much of my spare time is devoted to supporting other families who are coming to terms with kidney disease and pre & post-transplant related matters."

Claire Gaulier

Claire Gaulier

"My son was diagnosed with hydronephrosis during pregnancy in 2020. This led us to becoming patients of Evelina Children Hospital in London where he was diagnosed with posterior urethral valves, causing reflux and damage to his bladder and therefore leading to him having chronic kidney disease.

"I am a parent seeking who is always looking for information and connections, to learn how best to support our son in managing his health condition. I bring experience as full-time working mum for a global, nonprofit, humanitarian aid organization that supports emergency medical services, with experience in programming, operations as well as grants and contracts. I am delighted to join the Lay advisory group to support the organisation."

Colette McLaughlin

Colette McLaughlin

"I was diagnosed with renal failure in 2016. Over the years I have experienced kidney treatments in France and the UK including peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis, a failed transplant and I'll soon be mastering home haemodialysis. This has given me a good understanding of the treatments and the impacts they can have on a patient's life and their sense of self.

"I currently work full time as an engineering manager within the nuclear industry and I hope I can use the skills I've learned through my career and my time as a kidney patient to bring value to Kidney Research and improvements to patient care."

Stephanie Nicoll

Stephanie Nicoll

"I have always admired the work that Kidney Research UK does and have had the privilege and pleasure of being involved in lots of the of fundraising activities. It's this reason I applied to join the Lay advisory group, the work this group are doing to strengthen patient and public involvement within the charity really appealed to me and I was keen to play my small part in amplify the voices of patients.

"For the past nearly three decades I have had a very rare form of kidney disease that only impacts 1-2 people in a million, diagnosed at just 14 with Mesangiocapillary Glomerulonephritis (now redefined as C3 Nephropathy). I have experienced all the stages of kidney disease not once but twice, I reached end stage kidney disease in 2014 and my husband donated his kidney to me, unfortunately I experienced reoccurrence of my original disease in my transplanted kidney and nearly a decade later I reached end stage kidney disease again and will require another transplant in the future.

"Kidney disease doesn’t define me, and I strongly believe it's made me more grateful for the life I have, the people I spend it with and the experiences I have. I live a very full and happy life as step-mum to my two stepdaughters, fur baby mum to my two fluffy dogs Bailey and Buttons and wife to my real-life hero and life saver Gordon. When I’m not with family I’m fulfilling my purpose in life working as Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for a major brand. I love travelling, self-care, pampering and inspirational quotes – my favourite being “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I believe we can all play a part in creating positive change in the world and my hope is one day our combined efforts may help us to collectively end kidney disease once and for all."

Dale Robinson

Dale Robinson

"My name is Dale and I’m four years post transplant having been diagnosed in 2012 with IgAN. I was working abroad when I first became ill and managed the condition for a further four years before crash landing into end stage kidney failure at the end of 2016 going straight on to haemodialysis. I received a transplant from my mum in 2017 and everything is going very well now.

I have a pretty full-on work schedule and work in the drinks business. I’ve been involved with Kidney Research UK since 2013 when I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for the charity and so far, have contributed to ample fund-raising initiatives. I’m honoured to be part of the Lay Advisory Group and look to bring lots of my personal experience and skills to the role and looking forward to working with the team and beyond."

Kidney patient Helen Rogerson

Helen Rogerson

"I am delighted to join the new Kidney Lay Advisory Group and look forward to being involved in the Grants Commitee and spreading the news of good work of kidney Research.

"I was diagnosed with hydronephrosis in my teenage years and neurogenic bladder, for which I have done the ISC technique successfully for over 30 years. My kidneys are now at stage CKD 4-5 and I am monitored by the Preston Team and am on the national kidney transplant register. I am happily married, work for the NHS and live on the Fylde Coast.

"I enjoy being by the sea, playing the organ, swimming, Zumba and when permitted listening and dancing to the sound of the Mighty Wurlitzer in Blackpool Tower Ballroom."
Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes

"Diagnosed with IgA nephropathy at the age of 24, most of my adulthood has been spent battling kidney disease. 11 years later, I was lucky enough to receive a pre-emptive live donor transplant from my cousin in 2023.

"It’s an honour to join the Lay Advisory Group and have the opportunity to represent this fantastic charity. Having been part of a panel that influenced the approval of a new treatment for lgAN, I’ve already seen the difference we can make for patients by using our lived experience.

"With over 10 years’ experience in the fitness industry, I’m passionate about the role that exercise, and nutrition can have in improving the quality of our lives, physically and mentally. I hope to use my experience to get involved in some of the exciting campaigns that promote health and activity. "

Carla Thompson

Carla Thompson

"One of the problems with kidney disease is symptoms are very vague; feet swell in the heat, people often say they are tired, have a headache or bruise like a peach. So at the age of 22 it didn’t occur to me I was poorly until I found blood in my urine. I don’t think it really sunk in how ill I was, but I was diagnosed with a kidney condition called MCGN and started dialysis at aged 26. I started on haemodialysis and eventually moved on to peritoneal (CAPD).

"Initially, I was too ill for a transplant but was fortunate to receive a kidney from my mum at the age of 29. I am one of the lucky ones for whom transplant was like a light being switched back on, I was warm for the first time in years and felt truly alive.

"Over 20 years on and the kidney is still behaving, and mum’s remaining kidney is working brilliantly. Working with the Lay Advisory Group is a great opportunity to put my patient lived experience to good use. I am particularly interested in rare kidney diseases and improving research inclusion."

Lauren Westerman

Lauren Westerman

"My name is Lauren, I am very honoured to be part of the lay advisory group which champions the perspective of those with lived experience, maximising the voice of the patient/carer. My wonderful mum had lived with kidney disease from a young age as a result of vesicoureteral reflux, and in 2016, I was a live kidney donor for her at the age of 19. Donation has changed my mum’s life completely and I am looking forward to sharing my experience of being a young donor and our journey as a family.

"Even though I was a live donor, I am particularly passionate maximising the voice of those living with kidney disease. I have 5+ year’s experience within the health and social care sector, as a registered social worker and now specialise in safeguarding. I am a wife, avid baker and reader, who loves spending time with family and friends."

Sally Woodward

Sally Woodward

"I am excited and honoured to be part of this important group representing the patient/carer perspective. I have relied on and supported Kidney Research UK for more than 20 years now – whilst supporting my daughter, both practically and emotionally, since she was diagnosed with CKD at aged four.

"My own career journey comprises (in chronological order):  lawyer; academic and teacher; Director of knowledge, learning and service quality for an international law firm; external change management consultant; and the last fourteen years as a leadership coach. I have developed along the way a fascination with science and scientific method that complements my experience in legal and management research and research design.

"Now with more time to call my own, I want to do whatever I can to help deliver on our collective goal that ‘kidney disease ends here’."

Scroll To Top