A Tribute to Wendy Garwood (1966-2017)
Published: 5 Apr 2017
It is with great sadness that we share with you the very tragic news that Wendy Garwood, a past NRAS board member has passed away following a short illness. Naturally all of us at NRAS who worked with Wendy over the years are devastated by the loss and our sympathies and thoughts are with her husband Alan and her family at this difficult time.
I first met Wendy in 2002/3 when I was invited onto the Research Committee of the Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Network (ERAN), chaired by Dr. Patrick Keily and of which Wendy was the Project Manager. ERAN was an inception cohort of people with early RA, all recruited at the time of first physician's diagnosis of RA, with data collection from 2002 until 2014. As a consequence of working with Wendy, she soon became a good friend, not just a work colleague, and when we recruited our first full Board of Trustees, Wendy was one of the first people I approached. Wendy joined the Board of Trustees at NRAS in May 2004 and was a wonderful supporter of the work of the Society. Originally a Registered General Nurse, Wendy worked in the pharmaceutical industry within clinical research since the early nineties.
Wendy was an amazing, caring and gentle person who showed great compassion and genuine interest in the lives of people with RA. I quote from an article she wrote for the magazine back in 2004 when she said “On a personal note, I feel greatly honoured to be invited to become a Trustee of such a pro-active charity. NRAS is run by such dedicated people.” But honestly it is we who were honoured to have her representing NRAS as a Trustee.
Not satisfied with supporting people with RA by being on the Board though, Wendy went above and beyond – she ran, sang and even danced for NRAS!
Wendy is one of those people who, the minute you met her, made you feel special. Her smile was always warm, her words gentle but most of all her friendship treasured. All those who knew her have had their lives enriched by knowing her and she has left this world a better place by her dedication to serving others. “Wendy, it was truly an honour to know you and I thank you for touching our lives and helping hundreds of people throughout your, all but far too short, life. Rest in peace.”
Ailsa Bosworth MBE
Founder & Chief Executive
National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society