Research changed my life

Inspirational experiences from patients, their families and carers

We’ve gathered some fantastic stories from people across England, whose lives have been transformed by clinical research.  All you need to do is click on the links below to access experiences relating to a wide range of conditions. You’ll find short-films and video-diaries to explore, plus audio and written accounts too.


Emma was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and is an active member of the Clinical Research Network’s Mental health Young Person’s Advisory Group. In 2014 she got involved in research as a way to further understand mental health problems, break down misconception surrounding her illness, and to do something proactive in response to the need for more research.

Read more about Emma’s story.

Emma Wilson


Diane Chadband is a mother of three who has recently undergone a gastric band operation. When her GP recommended she go on a weight management programme, surgery was the last thing on her mind.

Watch Diane’s interview.


Diane Chadbond


Susannah has both personal and family experience of mental health services and is an active member of the Clinical Research Network’s Mental health Young Person’s Advisory Group. She got involved in research as a way to further understand mental health problems and to do something proactive in response to her own diagnosis and lack of available treatment and support.

Read more about Susannah’s story.



David Shiers is a retired GP who developed a keen interest in obesity and mental health when his daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia aged 16. His experiences as a carer have played an important role in shaping the STEPWISE study.

Read more about David’s story

Watch David’s interview

David Shiers

Ann and Jan

Ann Grimes and Jan Cashmore took part in the ACUTE (Diabetes) study, the results of which have changed the way they live aspects of their day-to-day lives.

Read more about Ann and Jan’s story

Watch Ann and Jan’s interview.

Ann and Jan


Bozena Bajer feels that taking part in a clinical research study has given her a much better understanding of her operation and her condition.

Read more about Bozena’s story.




Peter says that taking part in a health research study gave him back his life – and made it better than before. Reflecting on his experience of taking part in a clinical research trial for Type 2 Diabetes patients who have had a ‘coronary event,’ Peter says he felt physically weak and pessimistic when he was offered the opportunity to join the study in 2012.

Read more about Peter’s story.

Peter Stamp


Stuart is prepared to travel 200 miles to attend clinic appointments for a Cystic Fibrosis research study at a South West hospital.

Read more about Stuart’s story.



Stuart Priscott


Jane Owen of Plymouth believes she wouldn’t have survived Diabetes if it wasn’t for treatment advances informed by clinical research.

Read more about Jane’s story.

Jane Owen


In 2011, Mandy was introduced to two researchers from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, Dr Robert Semple and Dr Victoria Parker.

Read more about Mandy's story.

Mandy Sellars Segmental Overgrowth


Amelie Holl, aged 4, is helping NHS researchers find better treatments and care for future patients via the Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) study. 

Read more about Amelie's story.

Amelie Holl DDD study


Max was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was just fifteen years old, and took part in a research study that will help inform more large scale NIHR research into cancer. 

Read more about Max's story.

Max Williams patient story


Claire Bowley freely admits she had no idea of the research opportunities available through the NHS, but since taking part in research, she believes her intervention gave her a longer pregnancy, reducing the risk of health problems to her newborn twins.

Read more about Claire's story

Claire Bowley and family


Former nurse Anne Norton’s gratitude for a sight-saving eye treatment bolstered her support of clinical trials and led her to take part in a trial herself.

Read more about Anne's story

Anne Norton patient story


In early 2016, Fred was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease causing skin thickening, joint pain, finger ulcers, stiffness and difficulty swallowing. With no cure available and symptoms getting progressively worse, Fred decided to take up an opportunity to get involved in research.

He says taking part in this research has given him new hope of finding a cure.

This is Fred’s story.

Fred Whitby