20th Jan, 2018

City grandad takes part in groundbreaking genetics project at University Hospital

Coventry Editorial 5th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A PROUD granddad from Warwickshire is hoping to help future generations by taking part in a groundbreaking genetics project at Coventry’s hospital.

John Whitney could help to unlock the mystery of why people develop cancers and rare diseases by giving his complete genetic code to a study at University Hospital, Coventry.

John, who lives in Leamington Spa, was diagnosed with renal cancer in May and is the first local patient to give his complete genome to the 100,000 Genomes Project – which aims to sequence the genomes of more than 70,000 NHS patients with cancer or rare diseases.

The 68-year-old donated a sample which was taken while he had an operation to remove his kidney.

He said: “They have taken a section of my kidney and they can get all of the data they can from it.

“I am more than happy to be on the genomes trial if it’s going to help people in the long run.

“It might not even help me but it might help my kids and grandkids and that’s worth it.”

Sean James, Genomes Lead for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that our first patient has been recruited to the programme.

“John is helping to shape the future of healthcare.”

UHCW is one of 18 NHS Trusts across the region which have come together to form the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre (WMGMC) – one of 13 such collaborations in England which are delivering the initiative.

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