Sue, a former nurse and tutor from Usk who specialised in renal care, explains why everyone should be a part of this unique health research initiative...
57-year-old Sue Cowburn worked for 14 years as a sister and nurse tutor at Guy's Hospital in London before leaving to have a family in 1992. During her time as a nurse, Sue saw many cases of renal problems and saw first-hand how research initiatives such as HealthWise Wales could benefit the NHS.
She said: "I first heard about HealthWise Wales around three years ago, and thought it was a great resource and a way to get people thinking about their health.
"My background is in renal care, which is something that's grown close to my heart over the years. I would love people to realise the importance of this area of their health as kidney problems can be the result of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The more cases of diabetes there are, the more renal problems we'll see, so it's something to consider when looking to the future of the country's healthcare.
"This is why I believe HealthWise Wales is such a good idea, as I can see how the research would benefit the NHS in terms of finding new treatments and in planning for the future, improving on current practices and making the health service more efficient.
"I've always been passionate about healthcare, as I come from a family of GPs and was surrounded by people from the medical profession while growing up. My mother also has type 1 diabetes, and understanding the impact that has and how to deal with it has been a big help to her.
"It's important to me that as many people as possible sign up to the initiative. There's so much information out there, but people need to take the time to absorb that knowledge and apply it to their own lives. I think that awareness of your own health can lead to a better quality of life, and will also help the NHS to save money and resources in the future."