Dan, 36 years old, writes about his experience as a volunteer
My name is Dan and I am a 36 years old from Nottingham.
The first I heard about clinical trials was when I asked a work colleague where he’d been on holiday. When he said ‘Ruddington’ I was slightly confused. After explaining that he’d been on a clinical trial at Quotient, I soon had an appointment booked for my induction.
I won’t lie… What first attracted me to volunteering, was being able to do nothing and get paid for it. It wasn’t until I learned more about Quotient and the development of new drugs that I realised I was actually helping people.
With each study, you are given an in-depth information session to make sure you are completely aware of what you are volunteering for. You also get a health check to make sure you’re fit for the study. During the trial, volunteers are well looked after by doctors, nurses, technicians and of course a chef. All staff make you feel that you’re in safe hands, from the information session right through to discharge.
I always look forward to my next study. To catch up on sleep and whatever TV box set I may be behind on. It’s not often that you’re (voluntarily) forced to share a ward and a lounge with complete strangers, but it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. The WIFI, TVs, pool tables, games and weekly bingo/quiz help pass the time.
I understand people can be sceptical about taking part in clinical trials. But without volunteers we can’t develop drugs to help those who need them. A feeling that became very personal when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. By the time she was diagnosed, I’d already been involved in two cancer studies. I’d like to think that I have, in some way, indirectly helped her to become clear of cancer today. You’re welcome mum!