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Kidney Cancer UK News

Melinda Whale

Leeds cancer nurse wins inaugural Melinda Whale Memorial Award 2019

A Leeds nurse was the first to receive a high-profile award recognising her dedication, care and unwavering support for kidney cancer Leeds Nurse anneliese-peach-mwa-2019patients.

A true NHS hero, Anneliese Peach who is a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) at St James University Hospital, Leeds, won our first ever Melinda Whale Memorial Award for care in kidney cancer nursing in 2019.

Recognising her selfless commitment to her work with kidney cancer patients over the past four years, the annual award is in memory of charity founder James Whale’s late wife and former Trustee of Kidney Cancer UK, Melinda – who died in 2018 at the age of 68. Television and radio broadcaster James, himself a kidney cancer survivor of nearly 20 years, helped establish  the charity in 2006, and has been an active campaigner since. Melinda was a key driver in the charities’ formation.


Anneliese received the award from James at our annual Patrons Dinner at the House of Lords in October 2019, where she was praised for her compassion and care for patients in Leeds and across Yorkshire. Supporting newly diagnosed kidney cancer patients as well as those enduring gruelling treatment, colleagues said Anneliese “always goes above and beyond for all of her patients. Nothing is ever too much trouble.”

Speaking of her well-deserved accolade, Anneliese said: “The whole experience has been overwhelming. To be considered for any award was a shock but to be the first to accept this very special award is a real honour.

“Kidney Cancer UK is a fantastic charity, providing invaluable support to patients and their loved ones. My role doesn’t come without its challenges, but I’m inspired daily by my patients and colleagues, and I feel privileged to work in a job that I love. I’m very fortunate to be part of an incredible team and can’t thank them enough for all their guidance and support.”


Founder James said: “This award is a fitting tribute both to my wonderful wife, the work she did with the charity and all the amazing nurses who are caring for others in an environment that can often be very stressful.”

As part of the award, Anneliese received a bursary of £1,500, which she will use to further her education or improve services at her unit. Anneliese has used some of the bursary to purchase Blood pressure machines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anneliese said:Leeds Nurse anneliese-peach-mwa-2019-bp-machinesWe routinely check the blood pressure of all our patients prior to each new cycle of treatment. Patients who are commenced on TKI treatments for their advanced kidney cancer, are prone to developing hypertension as a common treatment side effect. For safety, we need to see some regular BP readings across a couple of weeks, to make an appropriate assessment about the need for any antihypertensive prescriptions, to help control BP and allow our patients to safely continue TKI treatment.

“The NHS does not have the funding for us to provide our patients with a blood pressure monitor. Funding our own blood pressure monitors is a great benefit, particularly at the moment, in this unusual situation that we are in. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, all of our metastatic renal patients are classed as extremely vulnerable and are required to shield at home to protect themselves as much as possible. They are only allowed to leave their homes to attend essential medical appointments. In order to help facilitate this and reduce the risk, we are conducting remote clinic reviews via telephone and delivering TKI medication by courier to the patient’s home. Providing our patients with the ability to check their BP at home is therefore even more valuable, as it allows our patients to safely shield at home, only needing to leave their house for the essential blood test, limiting contact with the GP surgery and hospital during the pandemic.'”

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