Committee members

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. 

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Vice chair 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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Events team, young IA rep and website Clare Mee

Hi, I am the Young IA rep, events and website editor for the Notts & Derby branch of the IA

My own stoma journey started on 3rd April 2016 with an Crohns colitis flare that wouldn’t settle with medical intervention. I have had Crohns colitis 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 with further surgeries a probability, but am glad to have my ileostomy as my over all health has improved. I found out about the Notts & Derby IA through a friend and now enjoy being a part of the committee.

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Emails and 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 and events 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. 

Social media Natalie Gardner

Hi, I am Natalie. 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.

Committee member– Lesley Cain

Hi my name is Lesley. I am a member of the Notts & Derby IA committee. I was born in 1960 and having lived in various parts of the UK, moving to Hucknall in Nottingham nearly 6 years ago.

My working life has been spent working in hospital laboratories and once recovered from my initial and second surgeries, I did continue to work for a while but have now retired from full time employment, although I do still do some work on a consultancy basis to keep my hand in.

My ulcerative colitis was a sudden onset in 2018, and following six months of increasing illness and debility, culminated in emergency surgery to remove my colon and to create my ileostomy ‘ George” in June 2018. A year later there was further surgery. ( Proctectomy and closure) which took several months to heal. I am very grateful to the NHS for my care and glad to say that I did recover in the end and that since the operation in June 2019, I have mostly been well.

I joined the IA very soon after my first surgery and have found it to be a very supportive and helpful organisation and would now , to pass on that same support to others.