I am 47 years old and I’ve been married to Eleanor for 25 years. We have 6 children aged between 6 and 25 and a grandson who is 16 months old. As you can imagine, it’s a busy household and never a moment’s peace!
Four of my children have Polyposis. My 19 year old daughter hasn’t, which means my grandson hasn’t either. My 6 year old has not been tested, but she is showing no signs of the condition.
When I was first diagnosed with Polyposis in 1998 at the age of 17, there wasn’t much time to discuss or understand what was going on. Before I knew it the operation was done (I had my large bowel removed) and within 6 weeks I was back at work! I now get regular checks here at St. Mark’s every 6 months and life goes on.
For years, I didn’t know anyone else with the condition and I didn’t have another patient to talk to, to understand what I and my family were going through. Then I was then told about the Information Day held once a year at St. Mark’s. I went along with my family in 2008, which was when PolyPeople was formed.
PolyPeople aims to help and support patients (or friends/relatives) like us that might need guidance, support, be put in touch with a medical professional or just to provide someone to chat to who understands!
I have helped raise money for PolyPeople during my 9 years as part of the committee by twice participating in Tandem Parachute jumps, charity pool and snooker events as well as a charity greyhound racing evening.
In November 2016 I had to go under the knife again to have a permanent colostomy bag. What a difficult change to get your head around and to adapt to a new way of living! At the time I thought it was hard, impossible even, but after the first few weeks out of hospital it was easy. You learn to cope and adapt. It also helped being able to talk to the committee members who had been in the same boat, so we are all in safe hands with PolyPeople!