Who's Who

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

David Chuter - Chairman
Edward Cheong - Trustee
Grant Fullerton - Trustee
John Campolini
Paul Drake
Philip Wright
Barry Moorefield

David Kirby - Life PresidentDavid Kirby - Life President

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 the OPA has expanded with many branches around the UK. David is the life time President for the OPA.

David ChuterDavid Chuter - Chairman

Dave is the NICE representative for the OPA. Email: dave.chuter54@btinternet.com

I was diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer and had an Oesophagectomy in 2006.

As no local patient support in the Guildford area, something which I and my wife needed, I worked with the Royal Surrey County Hospital OG medical team to set up a support group for local patients, we celebrated our 10th anniversary in November 2016. One of our first speakers’ way back in December 2006 was David Kirby of the OPA, since then I have involved with the OPA as a volunteer and organiser of the Guildford OPA branch.

Over the years the group has evolved from quarterly meetings to monthly, to ensure that new patients and their families have access to support early and regularly.

With patients asking about the research trials they have been recruited on, I joined the local Cancer Partnership Research Group to learn how research is conducted so I could help answer their questions, this led to getting involved with helping researchers set out their research papers and patient information sheets to be easily understood by the patients and help recruit on to the trials.

From 2013 to 2016 I was lay member of the NCRI OG Clinical Studies Group reading and advising on clinical studies from the patient view, my remit was to ensure patient safety, quality of life during the trial and if able to recruit patients.

This led to an invite to join CRUK as a lay person on the Clinical Expert Research Panel, viewing cancer research funding applications for safety, quality of life and what patient involvement has been sought in the development of the proposed trial.

Although I am involved in research for cancer treatment and early diagnosis, my main aim is to support and help patients who are diagnosed, who are going through the very distressing and physical hardship of treatment and then into survivorship living with the effects of their cancer and treatment.

The best way of doing this is ensure all patients at diagnosis and planned treatment pathway have access to support from other patients via a local support group, this includes their family members as they need support as well.

Also one to one patient support is important, so many of the Guildford group offer this to other patients via the medical team, OPA and other support groups.

They Guildford OPA support have recently been involved with CRUK in setting up their OG website page and with Lilly in helping develop their OG nutrition film.

My day job is in print sales, married 44 years this year, I have 2 daughters, 2 grandsons and a dog.  

Edward CheongEdward Cheong

I am a 43 years old consultant oesophagogastric and laparoscopic surgeon at the Norfolk & Norwich University Foundation Trust, who specialises in minimally invasive oesophagectomy (MIO) for cancer. I graduated from the University College Cork in Ireland, did my specialist registrar surgical training in the Eastern region in England, and then I completed a year fellowship in minimally invasive oesophagectomy in Pittsburgh, USA with Professor J. Luketich. The year I spent at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh was the most illuminating time of my career. It enabled me to set up MIO and endoscopic treatment for early oesophageal cancer, such as radiofrequency ablation of the oesophagus and endoscopic mucosal resection. I am also the Upper GI Cancer Lead at the Norfolk & Norwich University Foundation Trust. For the last four years, we changed the way things were done for oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery; and today we have one of the best outcomes after oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery in UK. Outside work, I love sports! I do long distance running (Half marathons races) and cycling; I used to play international school rugby, and now I watch rugby and football with great interest.

Grant FullartonGrant Fullarton

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



Barry MoorfieldBarry Moorefield

Barry Moorefield has been self-employed for 18 years carrying out general house maintenance and kitchen and bathroom fitting. He has been married to his partner for 24 years.

Barry was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in early 2010 when he was 49 years old, his initial symptoms were just getting food stuck, he never actually felt unwell. Imagine how shocked Barry and his wife were when it was diagnosed as serious but with the help of the Specialist Nurses, Staff and Surgeons at the Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital (LHCH), the treatment and the operation went extremely well, although recovery at first was very slow.

Following a request from Barry's Surgeon, Mr Richard Page, he became the NW Area Rep for the OPA which involved co-ordinating meetings twice a year in the Liverpool area and he also helped to run a monthly meeting at the LHCH Hospital which is called the Little & Often Meeting, both these valuable meetings have excellent support from the Staff at the hospital.

Now 4 years post surgery, Barry can't do the physical work that he used to do but he has now changed slightly his career path and he's now a self-employed photographer (which used to be a hobby) and he works in his family run Florist & Gift Shop. He's now started to produce personalised items and has made a range for the OPA to help to raise their awareness and to fundraise.

Philip WrightPhilip Wright

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.

John CampoliniJohn Campolini

I was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer, and over 3 and an half years ago 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 I come 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 my parents made and sold ice cream! I 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. My Italian heritage is very important to me as are my son, daughter and two granddaughters. I have belonged to the Knights of St Columba, a Catholic charity, which looks after the less fortunate in our society for over 51 years and am a licensed radio ham (call sign G0CRI).

Since being cured of my Cancer, I have, at every opportunity when speaking to groups of people raised the awareness of reflux and the consequences of ignoring the problem and urging people suffering from reflux to ask to be referred to specialists as soon as possible. Sadly my father died from Oesophageal Cancer over 30 years ago and my 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 etc.

Paul Drake

Paul DrakePaul is a chartered accountant with extensive experience in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Before retiring in 2015, he held a number of senior positions with the engineering group GKN, including Financial Controller of their factory in Italy and Finance Director of their Asia Pacific region. He has previously served as a trustee of The Shakespeare Hospice, a £2m charity in South Warwickshire, and BasicNeeds, a £1.5m charity providing mental health services in developing countries.

Paul is lucky. He was tested for various digestive issues in 2017, but found to be free of cancer. He did, however, have to take a long course of proton pump inhibitors to treat oesophagitis, and to have part of his colon removed as a preventative measure.

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