“Just an ordinary young man, striving to make a positive impact in the world…”
I’ve always loved life, even when, at times, it has been damn right difficult. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had ‘something wrong’. To me, it’s completely normal – it’s my life. It’s what makes me unique. At the age of three, I was diagnosed with a form of childhood arthritis, called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Over the years, I’ve also developed psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and a type of inflammatory bowel disease, called Crohn’s disease (amongst other conditions). On top of the challenging impact of these conditions on my daily life, there’s the endless amounts of treatment, the frequent visits to different healthcare professionals, and the added burden of living a different life to that of your average young person.
In 2012, I was introduced to research through my former paediatric rheumatologist. At the time, I was completely research-naïve. I didn’t see how research could benefit me, or similarly, how my experiences could benefit research. Over the years, my experience has evolved, my understanding has grown, and my passion for healthcare research has come to fruition.
In July 2016, I graduated from The University of Manchester with a 1st class degree in Biomedical Sciences with Industrial/Professional Experience. Inspired by my personal experience of living with ill health, and my genuine desire to make a positive change to other young people living with health conditions, I am now studying a PhD at The University of Leeds, where I hope to make it easier for children and young people to take control of their health, for the better. I am doing this under the supervision of Professor Veronica Swallow, Dr Linda Milnes and Professor Linda McGowan.
I particularly enjoy engaging and involving patients, carers and members of the public in research, because at the end of the day, research is everyone’s business, and an important part of everyone’s treatment. I’m also a consumer representative and patient insight partner with various health and clinical research communities around the world. I do this because together, one day, we will remove the challenges for people living with ill health.
If you’re interested, please click here take a look at my personal record, a rather comprehensive list of everything I’ve done over the years.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my website! I hope you’ll join me on my journey.
With every best wish,
Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) AMRSB