We hold a number of fundraising and
social events throughout the year. Below you will find
details of forthcoming events and reports on our past
Event Report: The AKPA AGM
AKPA's 2017 AGM was held on the
19th June at the Cambridge Dialysis Unit.
Event Report: The AKPA Carol Service
"The AKPA Christmas carol service for patients and staff, and their friends and families, was held at Great St Mary’s on December 4th in the centre of a bustling Cambridge. It was a very special affair. I was very touched by the service, which was not only an opportunity for great reflection but also a time for happiness and celebration.
I sat alongside a dear friend whom I had met at the dialysis unit, who was there together with his granddaughter and his great grandson Joshua, still a baby. During every hymn I would lean towards him and sing the descant and he the melody. We tried to sing quietly, secretly almost, so as not to bring attention to ourselves. I did wonder whether perhaps we were having too much fun!
It was wonderful to see a gathering which varied in age from the very young to the very ‘wise’. Little Joshua enjoyed the singing and seemed entranced by the choir, the St Augustine Singers, as they sang Christmas Bells by Philip Mead, which was especially beautiful.
After readings by Nova, Mike More, Sandy Lyons and, of course, our very own Peter Constable, it was time for the much awaited address by Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. He spoke of waiting and the pain of waiting. He quoted from a 19th century writer, who spoke of “the spirit being woven into the body”. His slow, steady and thoughtful words, painful for me to hear because they summed up feelings buried deep inside, brought tears to my eyes. This does not happen very often, but as he spoke of waiting; for changes in your condition – a transplant maybe – or simply for something to happen, my thoughts turned to all those who cannot have transplants and to those who simply wait for a change, any change, whilst trying to keep jolly and accept all that was asked of them, yes… I was moved to tears.
He spoke of how loved ones have to accept a life of caring for and loving a patient who was, at times, needy, when it was not a life that they would have chosen. These words literally made my heart ache. He moved on to talk movingly about the ways in which relatives and friends provide support, even just with a smile or a look. I thought of all the doctors, nurses and patients who laugh, listen and care. I hoped I could do more to care for my fellow patients and of course, my husband.
Dr. Williams appeared to speak from experience and without notes (I know this because I asked him!). He summed up how I and how many must feel to the core.
How grateful I was afterwards for a glass of very tasty Merlot, not to mention other potassium soaked devils like Christmas cake and mince pies. The thought that these might put me into a catatonic state quickly faded as I realised there were enough trained staff to take care of me! I delighted in sharing a few words with my nurses and their families. Once again I was reminded that for many of those who look after us, theirs is not simply a job but a calling – and for this I felt extremely lucky."