Who’s Who

Life President

Our Life President is David Kirby OBE who established the OPA in 1985

The Oesophageal Patients Association (OPA) was founded in 1985 by David Kirby following his recovery from oesophageal cancer.  Curative treatment involves major surgery which inevitably results in some long term digestive problems. David found that talking to new patients about his own experience was immensely helpful to them as they faced their own treatment, and could improve their attitude of mind.  David visited patients in hospital every week for many years and spoke at conferences in the UK and abroad.  He was awarded an OBE in 2000 and David is the life time President for the OPA.

David Kirby

Trustees:

John Campolini – Chair
Stephen Brinkworth – Honorary Treasurer
Professor Janusz Jankowski
Grant Fullarton
Javed Sultan
Sid Rannanaware
Will Docherty

Clinical Advisory Patrons:

Ed Cheong

Carer Advisor/Secretary:

Philip Wright

Charity Patron:

Fiona Wade

John Campolini – Chair 

John was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer, and underwent surgery at St Thomas’ under the great care of Bob Mason and James Gossage plus a whole raft of dedicated and wonderful medical staff. By way of background information John comes from an Italian immigrant family from a small village in the South of Italy and like lots of Italians in the 1930’s who came to the UK where his parents made and sold ice cream! He left school and after a number of jobs from a musician to mechanical engineer in the pharmaceutical industry retired after 36 years in the criminal justice system. John’s Italian heritage is very important to him as are his son, daughter and two granddaughters. John has belonged to the Knights of St Columba, a Catholic charity, which looks after the less fortunate in our society for over 51 years and is a  licensed radio ham (call sign G0CRI).

Since being cured of his Cancer, John has, at every opportunity when speaking to groups of people, raised awareness of reflux and the consequences of ignoring the problem and at the same time urging people suffering from reflux to ask to be referred to specialists as soon as possible. Sadly John’s father died from Oesophageal Cancer over 30 years ago and his 45 year old son is being monitored for the same condition.

“My hope is that we support each other in various ways such as meeting up, having discussion groups, inviting specialist speakers to our meetings”

John Campolini

Professor Janusz Jankowski – Trustee

MBChB MSc MD PhD PGCE PGCM AGAF FACG FRCP SFHEA

Professor Janusz Jankowski is a doctor, educationalist, researcher, writer and health policy expert. He is a board member of several health and sports charities. His career aim has been to build large global multidisciplinary networks to optimise informed public life choices.

Professor Janusz Jankowski

Professor Grant Fullerton – Trustee

Grant is the former lead Oesophago-Gastric Consultant Surgeon in Glasgow Royal Infirmary with major interests in management of malignant and complex benign upper GI disease. Grant is a former Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery with extensive research interest in benign and malignant upper GI disease. His particular interest is in the field of Barrett’s oesophagus including its role in cancer development and treatment with Radiofrequency Ablation.

Grant has now taken up an advisory post with the Scottish Government as the Clinical Lead for General Surgery. Grant has managed to get the Cytosponge introduced in NHS Scotland as a National Service. The Cytosponge is a new technique to screen Barrett’s oesophagus patients which has been a great recovery tool during this pandemic.

grant-fullarton

Javed Sultan – Trustee

MSc MD FRCS Consultant Oesophago-Gastric, Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgeon and Greater Manchester Clinical Lead for Oesophgo-Gastric Cancer 

Javed Sultan started his consultant career in 2014 at Guildford, to help expand and develop the regional oesophago-gastric cancer unit for Surrey. He was a Consultant Surgeon at the largest internationally renowned Northern Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Unit (Newcastle upon Tyne) prior to his appointment at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

Javed Sultan

Stephen Brinkworth – Trustee/Treasurer

Born in Cardiff, spent my childhood in the Rhondda Valley, where I attended the local Grammar School, before attending Cardiff University to study economics.

On leaving University, joined NatWest Bank when I spent the next 31 years, initially working in various Branches in S Wales and Bristol, before moving to London in 1984 to a Head Office Dept.  Took early retirement in 2003 following the Bank’s acquisition by RBS.

Upon leaving the Bank, joined the local NHS Hospital and spent 6 years as a Project Manager implementing several HR related projects.

In 2010, diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer, but fully recovered following surgery at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford.

A keen sportsman over the years, having played a high level of Soccer and then Squash, and has now progressed to Lawn Bowls, and spends many hours each week on the Bowls green, not only playing but is involved in the greenkeeping duties of his local Club.

Also involved as the Treasurer for a local Probus Club, and still involved with the local Squash Club as Treasurer/Secretary.

Stephen Brinkworth

Sid Rananaware – Trustee

Father to two children, 12&9-year olds. By registration I am a Chartered Engineer and work as Project Manager in the Oil & Gas industry.

Diagnosed with very early stage oesophageal cancer at the age of 39 by Dr Vijayan in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Successful Oesophagectomy in Feb 2018 by Dr A Qadir and Dr N Shay.  I had post-operative complications (Pneumonia, ARDS, Infections, Organ failures, survived only by ECMO treatment) spent a month in the ICU mostly in coma. I went deep down the roller-coaster (and took whole family with me), came out happily and proud. Since coming home from hospital in wheel chair, learning to walk, and do basic things from scratch like a toddler, I have done 70 international flights, worked in three different countries, travelled extensively on work, did a lot of DIY maintenance for my family house in Aberdeen during this lockdown. It has been a long journey in a short time and couldn’t be prouder of my family; and support I have received everywhere.

Sid Rananaware

Will Docherty – Trustee

Born in Inverness, I have a German wife and a teenage stepdaughter. I am a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and having worked for over 33 years for two firms, I set up my own company in 2020. I am now familiar with the steep learning curve associated with starting out in business!

Through my career I have lived and worked in various locations in the UK as well as Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Whilst I was living in the UAE, I was diagnosed with stage 3 adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. As an expat, I was fortunate that my employer’s medical insurance policy allowed me to have the initial diagnosis and neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy treatment at home in the UAE, before undergoing oesophagectomy surgery by Professor Arnulf Hölscher in Germany.

As I recently passed the five-year anniversary of my diagnosis, I wrote a post on social media and it is staggering to see the size of the team involved in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

In my case, it involved many teams from five hospitals in three countries – and that is just the people I saw. In addition, there are countless more behind the scenes, each making a valuable contribution to the team effort, albeit often without acknowledgement.

The excellent medical support was supplemented by family, friends and colleagues, which was paramount in allowing me to focus on recovery and I thank them all.

As a Trustee of the OPA, I want to increase awareness of this disease to allow more early diagnosis and therefore improving the prognosis of those who will be affected in future.

Will - New Trustee

Edward Cheong – Clinical Advisory Patron

Ed is a consultant oesophagogastric and laparoscopic surgeon at the Norfolk & Norwich University Foundation Trust, who specialises in minimally invasive oesophagectomy (MIO) for cancer. Ed graduated from the University College Cork in Ireland, did his specialist registrar surgical training in the Eastern region in England, and then he completed a year fellowship in minimally invasive oesophagectomy in Pittsburgh, USA with Professor J. Luketich. The year Ed spent at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh was the most illuminating time of his career. It enabled him to set up MIO and endoscopic treatment for early oesophageal cancer, such as radiofrequency ablation of the oesophagus and endoscopic mucosal resection. Ed is also the Upper GI Cancer Lead at the Norfolk & Norwich University Foundation Trust. For the last four years, they changed the way things were done for oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery; and today they have one of the best outcomes after oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery in UK. Outside work, Ed love sports! He does long distance running (Half marathons races) and cycling; Ed used to play international school rugby, and now he watches rugby and football with great interest.

edward-cheong

Philip Wright – Carer Advisor/Secretary

Philip retired in 2015 after 20 years nursing as a second career, before which he had been a curator, researcher, writer and lecturer in the field of art museums and galleries. He is also a carer for his survivor partner who had surgery for oesophageal cancer in 2005. Philip divides his time between London, where he continues occasionally to do some research and writing on the history of art collecting and dealing, and west Wales, where Peter now lives.

Philip Wright

Fiona Wade – Charity Patron

Personal message from Fiona Wade:

“Some years ago I lost my father to oesophageal cancer. He was such an amazing person, the best father I could ever wish for and it was so sad and shocking when he was diagnosed. I had never heard of this type of cancer before and I always feel to this day that if we had been more aware of oesophageal cancer or reflux disease then for sure earlier diagnosis would have made a huge difference and maybe saved his life. Early diagnosis by spreading awareness is absolutely key in saving lives from this cancer, so please help us to carry on doing all we can to make people more aware and help us to save lives and to support and reassure every patient who needs our help. Thank you.”

View our legacy leaflet here which includes Fiona’s Story

View our Fiona Wade Patron page here which includes videos featuring Fiona

Fiona Wade - OPA Patron