Science Advisor and public speaker
Ray was born in Belfast and moved to England in 1989. Following completion of his PhD studies at the University of Cambridge he moved to the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California as a postdoctoral research fellow. Since 1999 he has worked as a medicinal chemist in both inflammation and oncology drug discovery.
‘When I’m not at work I can usually be found scuba diving around the coast of the UK or trying to guess what my calcium is doing’.
Conference exhibitor and patient support
Originally from Wales, I trained as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital, London. I married Steve 35 years ago and we have 4 wonderful children, a grandson and a camper van.
In 2013, I had surgery to remove 3.5 overactive parathyroid glands and was left with hypoparathyroidism. Two years later I started PTH injections (Forsteo) which has stabilised my calcium levels and improved my quality of life.
Parathyroid UK was a life- line and I resolved to give something back to this amazing organisation. I support people in our facebook group and attend conferences to raise awareness about parathyroid conditions.
Originally a teacher I’ve had Hypoparathyroidism since 2018 when I had surgery to remove a large multinodular goitre. What followed post op was a complete shock. My calcium levels are rarely stable and I suffer from both high and low calcium with a range of confusing symptoms.
Parathyroid UK has supported me through some very difficult times. It means a lot to me to be able to help and support others in the same way and give something back.
I was diagnosed with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism after two years of not feeling quite right, and horrendous brain fog. My diagnosis came as quite a shock, and finding information was a challenge. Thankfully I found Parathyroid UK and was directed to the hypoparathyroidism Facebook group. The information, support and understanding I have received from the group has been invaluable. I’m not sure I would have been able to manage the condition without it. So when the opportunity to become involved as a group moderator came available I jumped at the chance. A hypoparathyroidism diagnosis can be life changing but with the right support network it is manageable. It is a great honour to be able to give a little bit back and support this valuable community.
Patient support (exercise) and conference exhibitor
Gillian has 4 children and lives in Scotland where she is a personal trainer. She is a facebook moderator and gives advice to patients wanting to find ways to improve their health through fitness and exercise. She is also a long-standing conference exhibitor and former hypopara telephone helpline volunteer.
Regional Groups Co-ordinator
I’m 44 years old married to Dean and have two dogs. I’m a Devonian living in Wales. I’ve had Hypopara for 4 years.
I’ve been a member of this group for over 3 years now and find it very informative and there’s always someone around to help! I’m looking forward to my new role and to meeting you all. Get in touch with me through facebook if you would like to join or set up a group.
Heather de Souza
Leaflet orders & distribution
I have known Liz since Teacher Training College in 1973. When her thyroid cancer operation went wrong, in the 90’s, I looked on as her life changed. I was amazed at her determination. I felt the need to support her practically as well as emotionally so I took on the distribution of our promotional materials.
I send these out to the conferences we exhibit at and fulfill the leaflet orders which our volunteers collect from the delegates. I supply bulk orders to hospitals as well individual requests from patients and their families.
I also add to Liz’s postcard collection from my frequent travels!
Andy started out with a physics degree and is now a Group Financial Controller where he manages the day-to-day operations of a large finance department of a worldwide company. When he’s not travelling or entertaining his small son he finds time to cast his professional eye over our accounts.
Living in Scotland, Josh is currently a student studying for a PhD in quantum physics. He writes: ‘In 2019 after beginning to stumble over my words, I was suddenly diagnosed with hypoparathyroidism. A frightening experience but the presence of this warm welcoming community was invaluable. I look forward to helping and improving our community as much as I can.’