A dinner held by the Shaw-NKF Children’s Kidney Centre in aid of the National University Hospital (NUH) Paediatric Renal Replacement Programme raised S$1.2 million for research into the prevention and treatment of kidney disease among children. The “Shine a Light” dinner marked 21 years of the Centre and celebrated the bravery of its young patients. Guests-of-honour included National University of Singapore (NUS) President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan and his wife Dr Evelyn Tan.
Since 1989, the Centre has treated more than 1,000 patients and has established itself as a leading centre for paediatric renal treatment as well as a preferred site in Asia for the training of renal doctors and nurses. The one-stop facility provides dialysis treatment, consultation, counselling and therapy for patients aged from infancy to 21-years-old.
The recent event was directed towards raising funds to focus efforts on the prevention of kidney disease. Professor Yap Hui Kim, Director of the Paediatric Renal Replacement Programme, who helped organise the fundraising dinner said: “We want to create a research foundation so we can look at the causes of kidney failure in Singapore and see if there’s a better way to treat patients. We can then translate this into treating children earlier and not wait until they need dialysis.”
In his speech, Prof Tan, a former kidney specialist, added: “We must gain a much better understanding of what causes kidney failure in children in our local context. Ultimately, research will help us find new and effective ways to prevent progression to end stage kidney disease and dialysis.”
The Children’s Kidney Centre was born largely out of philanthropy, through the support of the Shaw Foundation as well as many other donors. Professor Yap said: “Your generous donations will help to retain our most dedicated and skilled research staff, whose efforts can now be focused on moving the research forward into the realm of translational medicine, where research in the laboratory can benefit the clinical care of patients directly. Your contributions will help in no small way to make this dream of a better quality of life for many kidney patients and their families a wonderful reality.”
In addition to Prof Yap, the dinner was organised by a team of volunteers including Ms Priscylla Shaw, Dr Chong Yap Seng, Mrs Aileen T. Lau, Mr Andrew Lau, Mrs May Lui and Ms Kitch Lum. Funds were raised from generous gifts and an auction, as well as the sale of “A Beacon of Hope”, a book chronicling the history of the paediatric renal replacement programme in Singapore and a video showcasing the work of the Children’s Kidney Centre.