Chair, Secretary & Membership Brigitte Siefken
Hi, I’m Brigitte. I’m the Chair, Secretary & Visiting Coordinator of Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire IA, and I have also recently joined the Internal Pouch Sub-committee of IA National.
My route to surgery was an unusual one. Out of the blue in October 2011, a chance conversation with a doctor led me down a path no-one expected. I had neither UC nor Crohns and was really healthy, so being told I needed colorectal surgery to prevent cancer appearing within 2 -20 years was devastating. Utterly floored, I found IA. The visitor chats changed my perspective and helped me as I waited for surgery – the first in April 2014 and the second in July 2016 when I went from my loop ileostomy to living with my j-pouch. Between the 2 operations I joined my local IA committee, wanting to offer others the kindness and support I had been shown. It really matters to me that no-one is left feeling as isolated and clueless as I was initially. If I can ease the path of just a handful of others, I will have done my job.
Treasurer and Pouch rep Rob Murphy
In 2007, whist travelling in New Zealand, I first noticed the symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as ulcerative colitis. The first set of treatments kept me in remission for four years but once it returned no medication was able to improve the situation. It was during this time that I developed a keen knowledge of the walking times between conveniences in the Beeston area.
My condition steadily worsened until spring 2013 when I was admitted to the Royal Derby Hospital & underwent emergency surgery to remove my colon. This was to be the first of 3-stages to form a j-pouch which was completed in summer 2014. I have found tremendous support during IA meetings both in between and since my surgeries. Talking to other people that had knowledge of both ulcerative colitis and the operations that I had experienced has proved invaluable. I joined the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire committee in 2015 and now fill the roles of treasurer and pouch rep. I am also kept busy by being a self-employed Chartered Accountant and having a young family.
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Young IA rep Clare Mee
Hi, I am the Young IA rep for the Notts & Derby branch.
My own stoma journey started 3 yrs ago with an ulcerative colitis flare that wouldn’t settle with medical intervention. I have had UC for many years so had hoped to improve with this flare, but it ended with me being very unwell and needing surgery within a day of my surgeon seeing me. I am pleased to say that I was lucky enough to have Mr Abercrombie as my surgeon, who is our very own president of Notts & Derby IA. Because I was so unwell I did have complications that are still ongoing, but am glad to have my ileostomy as my health has improved so much.
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Committee member Daniel Tai-Yin Tsoi
Hi I am Daniel and I am a relatively new ostomate because of my ulcerative colitis. The surgery did change my life and I got the support of Nottinghamshire & Derby IA when I had the surgery. I just want to give something back and hence sign up as a committee member. I enjoy swimming and gardening and am now slowly picking these up again.
Committee member Derek Icke
Hi, my name is Derek and I joined Notts & Derby IA to help out and have input to give back to IA. I am different to many, my stoma is from a birth defect so have always had one. I went through school and work with my stoma and life is better now as there are more products that work and so much more choice, more help from stoma nurses as I never had one when I was growing up from 1953 when I was born.
Committee member Samantha
I had my stoma formed in 2018 following many years of troublesome neurogenic bowel dysfunction, after an incomplete spinal cord injury. It was a huge decision and life-changing event and I am indebted to the wonderful support of charities such as IA. I would love to use my experiences to help others learn to live well with their stomas & by joining the committee for the Notts and Derby IA branch, I hope to achieve this.
Committee member Natalie Gardner
Hi, I am Natalie. I am also known as The Spoonie Mummy and have been blogging under that name for the last 2.5 years. I write about life and parenting with chronic illnesses. I had my ileostomy formed in April 2016 due to Crohn’s Disease. I was asked to speak at the IA Information Day in Birmingham in March 2019 which is where my involvement with IA began. I am really interested in giving back to the ostomy community, supporting other ostomates and I also personally enjoy the social events run by the committee.
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