Simon, Ted and Matthew Frost, diabetes trial participants, Diabetes Vaccine Development Centre

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My name is Simon Frost and I have had Type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years and as the parent of two boys (Ted and Matthew) eligible to be screened to establish if they were at higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, I found deciding that they could be part of a clinical trial was an easy choice to make. Encouraging my boys to participate was not only about their own health, but the potential to make a contribution to the worldwide search for a cure to this chronic disease.

Richard Aarden, cancer gene trial participant, Prince of Wales Hospital

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My mother was a breast cancer survivor for 26 years. It was discovered that she carried the BRCA genetic variation. In women, the gene increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In men, it increases the risk of breast and prostate cancer. When Mum was identified with the variation the familial cancer clinic contacted our family to alert us that we may have an increased risk of cancer.

We found that the gene had been passed down through her family, including to my brother and myself.

Ann White, cancer clinical trial participant, Prince of Wales Hospital

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I joined a clinical trial because I was referred by my specialist. My cancer — melanoma — had metastasised and spread to my lymph glands, and my doctor thought a clinical trial was the best next step in treatment for me. I had already had radiotherapy, and chemotherapy offered little chance of success for my type of cancer. My specialist knew about this drug trial and recommended I go and talk to the team at Prince of Wales Hospital.

Tom McNamara, cancer trial participant

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Tom McNamara thinks he was about eight when he was sunburned. “In my younger days my mother would take us to Bronte Beach to see the family. It’s taken all these years for my melanoma to show up.”

Now 75, the former radiographer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney was told last year he had secondary cancer in his lung, with another tumour on his liver.  

In Australia, 30 people a day are diagnosed with melanoma, and 1,200 die each year.

Tracy Grierson - lifestyle related health conditions trial participant

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In 2014 I took part in a trial calling for healthy volunteers seeking new ways to tackle lifestyle related health conditions such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity.  I found it fascinating and I learned things about my physiology that you normally wouldn’t have access to.  For example my true resting metabolic rate was tested and that was something I was always curious about in terms of managing my weight. The rate wasn’t what I’d fantasised at all, in fact my personal myth was dispelled and a normal metabolic rate was revealed.

Adele Given, Breast Cancer clinical trial participant

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I was 32 years old and still breastfeeding my youngest child when I found a lump in my left breast.  Subsequent tests identified the lump as Oestrogen receptor positive Invasive Ductal Carcinoma breast cancer, and my whole world was turned upside down.  After receiving treatment including Lumpectomy surgery, four months of Chemotherapy and 7 weeks of Radiotherapy, I was clear of cancer.  However, being a young woman without a family history of cancer and no lifestyle associated risk factors, although statistically my chances of survival were very good, I still felt that I wasn’t in control