Patient Profile - Patty Wood

NWABR former Executive Committee and Board of Directors member, Patty Wood never intended to become a spokesperson for the use of animals in research. She remembers thinking, as a child, that she just wanted "to do something good for the world." Patty has devoted the last 20 years of her life to volunteering on behalf of kidney patients, transplant recipients and biomedical research.

On October 3, her commitment to "doing something good for the world" will be acknowledged at the Northwest Kidney Foundation's Ninth Annual Celebration of Excellence, where she will receive the Clyde Shields Distinguished Service Award. At the age of 16, a severe case of strep throat changed the course of Patty's life. The strep infection invaded and shut down her kidneys. She first received a transplanted kidney from her brother, and when it failed several years later, she was given a cadaveric kidney. At that time she volunteered to be a research subject for several procedures and new treatments aimed at reducing the complications of kidney transplants. "I'm as much a research animal as the dogs used to develop organ transplantation techniques," she says with pride.

With her new kidneys came a commitment to tell others about kidney research and the necessity of using animals in the search for the cure for kidney failure. Despite the significant and ongoing medical stresses that followed her transplant, Patty keeps a speaking and advocacy schedule that would exhaust any human.

When NWABR was created in 1989, Patty stepped in to provide a patient's perspective on research issues. Today, she co-chairs NWABR's Patients for Animal Research (PAR) Committee which provides patients an opportunity to educate the community by sharing their personal stories and life experiences.

In 1989, Patty established the local chapter of Transplant Recipients International Organization. She also worked diligently on the Washington State Driver's License Organ Donor Program and helped with the development of the newly-released U.S. Postal Service Organ Donor Stamp.

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