John’s background was initially as an industrial microbiologist and then as a director and senior manager in the pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturing industry with a focus on business development, technical and quality assurance matters. Having served on the Board of a UK listed company for several years, he is now working part time as a consultant.
John has had an ileostomy since 2007. For nine years prior to that he had a colostomy, both conditions as a result of bowel cancer. He has been a member of IA since 2009 and is also actively involved with Bowel Research UK. He sits on their Scientific Advisory Committee and has participated in a number of their sponsored projects.
John is one of Birmingham IA's qualified One2One Supporters.
He is married with 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Pastimes include cooking, Pilates, badminton and rebuilding and maintaining several classic cars
Peggy Costello Membership Secretary
× Peggy Costello Membership Secretary
Peggy Costello has been the Membership Secretary of Birmingham IA for twenty years. She joined the group in 1977, two years after having surgery, having suffered from ten years of Ulcerative Colitis. Peggy is a qualified One2One Supporter for IA. She undertook voluntary work at a stoma clinic at Dudley Road (City) Hospital for ten years, along with Doreen Harris, a founder member of Birmingham IA.
Peggy is married with five children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She trained at Aston Commercial School and worked as a shorthand typist before starting her family. When her children started school, she took a job as school cleaner to fit around them and ended up doing the job for 22 years until she retired at the age of sixty.
Miss Melissa Cunha President
× Miss Melissa Cunha President
Miss Melissa Oliveira Cunha, PhD, FRCS . Consultant Colo-rectal surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
Melissa qualified in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She completed surgical training in the East Midlands. She obtained a PhD in molecular cancer biology from research carried out at The University of Manchester. Her main interests are laparoscopic colorectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease and medical education.
Mike Jameson Chair
× Mike Jameson Chair
Mike has been a member of Birmingham IA since 2005, joining shortly after his Ileostomy surgery in February of that year. He had suffered from Ulcerative Colitis all his adult life. As well as being Chair of Birmingham IA, Mike is also a Trustee of Midlands IA and of the Florence Minnie Lees Bequest Fund.
As Chair of Birmingham IA , his main responsibilities include organising meetings and coffee morning, liaising with speakers and presenters, and with hospital stoma care nursing teams, chairing committee meetings, supporting members, representing Birmingham IA at events they are invited to and speaking at such events as and when appropriate.
Mike’s professional background has been largely spent in finance, in stockbroking, insurance broking and in later years as a School Business Manager. He was also instrumental in forming the Birmingham Association of School Business Managers, an organisation he chaired for fifteen years. Until recently he was Chair of Trustees at a Multi Academy Trust.
Mike is married with three children and six grandchildren, enjoys most sports, nowadays playing table tennis and New Age curling, is a keen member of Warwickshire Cricket Club and enjoys the theatre and overseas holidays.
Syeda Akhtar One2One Co-ordinator
× Syeda Akhtar One2One Co-ordinator
Mark Barnes IA Together Co-ordinator
× Mark Barnes IA Together Co-ordinator
Mark had surgery in 2013 due to ulcerative colitis and joined Birmingham IA in 2015. A couple of years later he was asked to take on the role of IA Together Co-ordinator, and as such he has organised several social events for members for members. He is also a qualified One2One supporter.
Mark works as an aftersales manager for an Italian company which manufactures garden machinery and forestry equipment. His role involves sorting out technical issues, customer service and warranty issues for the UK.
Mark is single, lives in Solihull and enjoys being part of Birmingham IA and talking to people who have had or about have to ostomy surgery. He has completed the IA Visitor One2One Supporter training. Socially, he loves meeting with friends, enjoys the occasional fishing trip (when time allows, (which isn’t very often) and also loves experimenting in the kitchen - he’s not bad, apparently!
Bogusha Bury Events Manager
× Bogusha Bury Events Manager
Bogusha has been a member of Birmingham IA since 2015. In 2014 she had emergency surgery because of diverticular disease which resulted in a permanent ileostomy. After the initial shock of this unexpected surgery, she joined Birmingham IA, where for the first time she met other people with ileostomies: this helped her a lot with the process of adjusting and healing. In 2019 she joined Birmingham IA Committee and has been responsible for organising displays, keeping and updating information leaflets, brochures and other IA marketing materials. She is also responsible for organising the coffee mornings in Solihull. She is also a qualified IA One2One Supporter.
Bogusha is married with two children, two step children and one step granddaughter. Originally from Poland, she came to the UK in 1990 and in 1999 she became a British Citizen. Initially she graduated in Economics but she retrained and became a teacher. She worked for 26 years for Birmingham City Council’s Language College as a Language teacher and also as a Co-ordinator of Information, Advice and Guidance Office for foreign students. She retired in 2017 and now in her free time she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, baking and travel.
Maggie Butler Database Co-ordinator
× Maggie Butler Database Co-ordinator
Maggie was unexpectedly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in October 2012, having had no previous health issues, and within a year she needed emergency surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. In 2014 she joined Birmingham IA and found that support from members helped her enormously in coming to terms with the situation. She has since had internal pouch surgery.
Maggie has been a member of Birmingham IA’s Committee since 2016. Her role involves communication with members. She is a qualified IA One2One Supporter. She is also a member of IA National’s Internal Pouch Committee.
Prior to her retirement, Maggie worked in Education.
Natasha Dhokiya IA Together Co-ordinator
× Natasha Dhokiya IA Together Co-ordinator
Natasha was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2004 She tried several different treatments to manage her Crohns, until surgery became the only option. The doctors first considered giving her a stoma. A surgeon from the Queen Elizabeth hospital was asked to be involved in the operation. He decided she was too young to have a stoma because she had the rest of her life ahead of her. So, instead, the surgeons removed around 15cm of her large colon. Her health was then stable for a few years..She had further surgery in 2017 which left her with Steve – her ileostomy, Steve the Stoma. After Steve, she kept having hernias and was constantly in and out of hospital. In 2019, Natasha was told she needed a very big operation to remove her rectum, fix her hernia and reposition Steve, as well as sorting out the fistulas she had. Her surgeon decided it was best to split the operation into two parts so she could make a better and faster recovery. After having Operation Rectum, part 1, she knew she had to be prepared for the total proctocolectomy. Although she undertook research and asked questions of those who had the surgery, she was still scared. She spoke to one of her Stoma nurses, who helped ease her worries and told her about IA. She thought that speaking to those who have been through the same experiences would be a great support network. Natasha checked out the website and became a member of Birmingham IA. In May 2021 she had her rectum removed which was the final step in her Crohn’s surgery plan.
Natasha currently works for the NHS as a Subject Access clerk at Heartlands Hospital and she thoroughly enjoys her job. .She enjoys catching up with all things Marvel and playing Dungeons & Dragons. She enjoys socialising with friends and family. She also enjoys her role as a Birmingham IA. Together Co-ordinator. Since having Operation Rectum part 2 in 2021, whilst she was at home recovering. she decided to become more involved with IA and IA Together. Natasha is also a qualified IA One2One Supporter. Natasha says that she was surprised but happy to be invited to join the Birmingham IA Committee, seeing it as the perfect chance to help and dedicate her spare time to the group. Before joining she didn't realise how many people have stomas and live nearby.. When she is not busy with IA or her studies, she spends time gaming, going to concerts, cooking & baking. She has also discovered a love for playing Dungeons & Dragons, is a a big fan of Marvel and collects Marvel merchandise/collectables.
Andy Greenway Engagement Manager
× Andy Greenway Engagement Manager
Andy had surgery for Ulcerative Colitis in October 1999 and became a member of Birmingham IA in 2000. Andy is a qualified IA One2One Supporter.
He worked in the Transport industry from 1972, firstly as an apprentice bodybuilder for Midland Red Bus Company then 15 years later going into the sales of Buses. For the last 20 years he enhanced industry experience working as City bus Salesman responsible for England, Wales and Scotland. This took him on the road for an average of 40000 miles a year and he enjoyed every minute. He retired due to redundancy in September 2021, which gave him a lot more time to become active in Birmingham IA and as a result, he was asked to join the committee. Given his past work and sales experience, he took up the role of Engagement Manager for the group.
He has been with his partner since 1989, and they had a civil partnership in 2006. He enjoys going on cruises and loves visiting Devon and Cornwall. He also enjoys going to the theatre and listening to music.
Kalpana Manotta Social media Manager
× Kalpana Manotta Social media Manager
Kalpana has had Ulcerative Colitis for 14 years. Unfortunately, this never went into remission which led to a lot of different types of medications and an extremely restrictive diet. She underwent unplanned ileostomy surgery at the end of 2019 with many complications ensuing, meaning a long recovery, though with that came the discovery and support of the Birmingham Ileostomy Association and a better quality of life.
Subsequently, Kalpana became a committee member in 2021 supporting with social media, coffee mornings, supplier events and presenting to healthcare professionals and the wider IA community. She is also a trained One2One support volunteer providing support to individuals who are considering or who have recently had surgery.
Kalpana has worked extensively in education and training over her career and works full time as a People and Organisational Development Consultant in Higher Education alongside her contributions to Birmingham IA.
Kate Pine News Correspondent and Journal Distributor
× Kate Pine News Correspondent and Journal Distributor
Kate is a Yellowbelly (native of Lincolnshire) with a family history of inflammatory bowel conditions and after several years of misdiagnosis was finally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2002. She underwent colectomy and ileostomy surgery in 2003 aged 30, followed by reversal into an ileoanal (internal) pouch (W type) in 2004. Kate joined IA in 2019 and was recruited onto the Birmingham IA committee in 2020. Her main focus is to report on events and news from the Birmingham group for the IA Journal and Midlands Bulletin and to distribute those magazines to its members. Her interest is in supporting and highlighting the needs and issues of those who have lived with both a stoma and an internal pouch like herself.
In a working life interrupted by ulcerative colitis and recovery from surgery, Kate worked in printing and publishing and adult social care prior to surgery and afterwards worked in various voluntary roles as her health allowed. Later she gained paid employment in specialist education working with disabled young adults.
She is also a member of the Friends of Perry Park and enjoys walking by the Tame Valley Canal, home crafts and visiting heritage sites. She has a partner and a lively border collie cross.