It is with huge gratitude and respect that we say thank you to outgoing chair of Child Health International, Jim Hopwood [big round of applause for Jim!]. His dedication and commitment to the charity have seen projects grow and thrive, and his presence at each and every board meeting will be greatly missed by friends and colleagues alike.
And now, we’d like to introduce you to our new chair, David Wilford. Welcome David, and here’s to a bright new chapter in Child Health International’s journey.
When I retired as a Banking Consultant, advising major international banks on the interpretation and implementation of and compliance with Regulatory requirements, I did not envisage for a moment taking the Chair of a charity that can have such a major impact on the lives of children living with cystic fibrosis.
Child Health International has already achieved so much, in some countries even doubling life expectancy within a few years. And to be part of an organisation that can accomplish that is both an honour and a privilege. However, I feel that we can accomplish much more. I’m therefore really excited to lead Child Health International into a new chapter, expanding its reach, raising its profile both at home and internationally, and helping even more children with cystic fibrosis get the life they deserve.
The reason I took this position is two-fold. First, and on a personal note, my daughter was born with CF thirty-eight years ago at a time when CF babies were given a 20% chance of reaching adulthood. Now, having had a double lung transplant when she was 21 years old, she is the proud mother of a lively seven year old boy, and it has only been made possible thanks to her Consultants and specialised CF staff who have and continue to provide first class treatment and advice. This is the chance that all CF children should have, no matter where they are born.
The second reason is the charity’s ‘business model’ – that of partnering a CF Centre in the UK with that in the host country, taking into account economic restraints, resource availability and cultural differences – as it delivers life-changing results with no financial assistance given. This business model is one that I hope to package up and promote, not only to other CF organisations that they too may assist less fortunate countries, but to organisations dealing with other disorders where a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment can be so beneficial.
To achieve this, I first need to raise our profile by further strengthening the Board of Trustees with additional CF specialists and co-opting both medical and celebrity Patrons (and perhaps even a Royal Patronage!) whilst promoting the work of Child Health International in the international community. And this is on top of managing existing projects in a number of countries and raising funds to cover travel, accommodation and other expenses of the medical and support personnel who give their time freely to help those who need our assistance and expertise.
These are now my challenges and with your help, we can help to prolong life. So please consider a donation, no matter how small, and follow our progress in this new chapter by signing up to our News Letter. And if you think you can help in any capacity, please do get in touch.
Wishing you well,
David I. Wilford