I have been asked by Hannah to provide a précis of my life and my reasons for volunteering for this group; a daunting task indeed, but not as frightening as her request for a photograph!
I was born in Woolwich, London, but now live in Pontefract, West Yorkshire with my wife, who was a Naval Nurse and now works for the Miscarriage Association in Wakefield. We have 3 rather long sons, who have fled, but one seems to be on elastic as he usually works abroad and returns after contracts.
My background is as a Royal Navy Medical Technician, a role that I enjoyed between the ages of 15 and 40. In retrospect, I enjoyed all of it, and the variety of roles I fulfilled. These included those of a paramedic, radiographer, joint services rock climbing instructor, outdoor development tutor, practice manager and lecturer.
During my service, I enjoyed secondments to the Royal Marines Training Centre and a six year deployment to the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital in Woolwich, a garrison town for the Royal Artillery, which was where I was born, and the reason for joining the RN in the first place.
Upon leaving the RN, I completed an MA in Health Services Studies at the Nuffield Institute for Health, Leeds and several academic courses since, which included a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research at Leeds Medical School.
I am now self employed with my own computer services company: http://www.mach4cs.co.uk and enjoy alpine skiing, rock climbing and crawling up hills slowly, computers, photography and painting (art, not decorating). I try to prolong my life by visiting the gym regularly, but I think it has the opposite effect.
A service pal, who I have known since 1968, recently moved into the Sheffield area and is now the Chair of the Motor Neurone Disease Association in Sheffield and invited me to watch the superb documentary; I am Breathing, by Neil Platt, and also attend the SITraN open day this year. I was fascinated by the research undertaken at SITran and hoped that I could utilise my research training for the benefit of the centre and those who rely upon it for the discovery of facts about MND, hopefully to alleviate its effects and progress towards its cure and/or eradication.
I hope that I am able to contribute effectively towards the work of SITraN and look forward to learning more about the disease processes involved.