I began my career in Occupational Therapy with the Social Work dept. and went on to coordinate independent living care packages for people with disabilities. I have continued to work in Social Work roles taking up my post as Senior Officer in the Planning Team in 2011 and now within Business Development Team for Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, focussing on Information and Improvement. I have always had outside interests either studying for my degree and post graduate qualifications part time or in volunteer roles, including as a Volunteer Counsellor and as a volunteer Local Development Officer for local and national charities. The role of volunteer representative with AMEND therefore feels like a natural next step given also my recent diagnosis.
After presenting with symptoms over a number of years, scans eventually highlighted tumours in my pancreas in 2016. At the same time I discovered similar patterns in my extended family history, in particular the death of several family members in their late 50s with pancreatic tumours. I was referred to genetics for further testing confirming MEN1 in 2018. I was the first in my family history to be diagnosed and now other family members are able to be tested and this will include my two boys, when the time is right.
The role of volunteer representative for AMEND was something I knew I wanted to do from early on following my diagnosis as there has been a clear gap in Scotland and I now feel the time is right for me to take on this role. I have had amazing support from the information provided by AMEND and from Kym Winter the AMEND Counsellor and I hope my new role will only enhance the support and information that AMEND provides, for those of us in Scotland.