About us Our team Our trustees Mimi McCord Chairman, Trustee & Director Mimi is the founder trustee of the McCord Oesophageal Cancer Fund which is now known as Heartburn Cancer UK (HCUK). She set-up the charity in memory of her husband Michael, who died from oesophageal cancer in 2002, a death that could have been prevented had he known of the dangers of long-term persistent heartburn. HCUK raises awareness and educates the general public and medical profession of the link, and risk factors between heartburn, Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer, to try to reduce the increasing number of deaths from this cancer through prevention and early diagnosis. Over the last ten years Mimi has been a lay member on NICE and British Society of Gastroenterology guideline committees focusing on Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer, and has advised the Department of Health on their public awareness campaign on oesophago-gastric cancer. Mimi is also involved in a number of trials to improve diagnosis treatment and management of Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer, from design through to publication of research results. Currently she is Patient Advocate for a major research project funded by CRUK as part of their Grand Challenge venture. The project, called Mutographs of Cancer, is led by Professor Sir Mike Stratton and seeks to fill in the missing gaps to identify the unknown cancer-causing factors and reveal how they lead to cancer. Mimi is the mother of two grown-up children and the grandmother of four. She's a very hands on grandmother, and frequently juggles two or three grandchildren during the week with school runs or no school at all, plus her computer when something charity related needs an immediate response. She's a very keen runner and frequently to be seen running around Bosham where she now lives. She's also in the gym three times a week to remain fit and reasonably de-stressed thanks to so much exercise, including dog walking. Professor Tim Underwood Clinical Trustee & Director Tim is a surgeon scientist with a special interest in oesophageal cancer. With a team of specialists, he performs surgery for cancer of the oesophagus and stomach on a weekly basis. Tim believes passionately that through improvements in diagnosis and treatment, founded on basic scientific research, the survival rates for oesophageal cancer can be greatly improved. His research focuses on understanding the ecosystem of cancer and how non-cancer cells interact with cancer cells in the tumour micro-environment. Using this data, trials of new treatments can be designed. Tim was appointed as the Surgical Speciality Lead in oesophageal cancer by the Royal College of Surgeons in 2018 part funded by HCUK and AUGIS. Tim will act as a key link between the designated Surgical Trial Centres and national clinical research networks within their disciplines. He is married with two children, and has been passionate about sport in all its forms since childhood. Tim is often to be found up a mountain, skiing in the winter or cycling in the summer. Beryl Huntingdon Trustee & Director Having suffered with persistent heartburn Beryl Huntingdon, a successful businesswoman, knows exactly the importance of being alert to the symptoms, which could ultimately lead to oesophageal cancer. Beryl had a laparoscopic fundoplication in 2001 and for her the surgery was a welcome, positive, life-changing experience. She was delighted to be approached by Mimi McCord to become a Trustee of HCUK. Since becoming a Trustee one of her main aims is to raise public awareness and understanding of this potential condition. Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald OBE Clinical Trustee & Director Rebecca is a Professor of Cancer Prevention at the University of Cambridge and a Research Professor for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). She trained in clinical Gastroenterology and started doing research into cancer of the oesophagus in 1995. Over the years she has looked after many patients, some diagnosed with Barrett’s oesophagus and some with cancer of the oesophagus. More recently she has had the privilege of seeing how patients with oesophageal cancer can be cured through simple endoscopic treatments when their disease is diagnosed early. Rebecca runs a research programme to improve the early detection of cancer of the oesophagus at the MRC Cancer Unit in Cambridge. She thinks that it is vital that we improve awareness amongst the general public and doctors about heartburn and the link with Barrett’s oesophagus and cancer, which is why she's keen to be involved with this charity. People sometimes think that working in the area might be depressing but it is very fulfilling to be able to work on something so important and her husband and four young sons ensure she keeps perspective on life! Tim Thornton-Jones Trustee & Director As a close friend of Michael McCord, and his solicitor, he was one of the first Trustees of the McCord Oesopageal Cancer Fund and was involved in its initial registration as a charity in 2003. He is committed to raising awareness of the link between heartburn, Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer and to supporting sufferers. Oliver Stovin Trustee Oliver is a retired GP and also a Barrett’s sufferer. He has been involved with HCUK predominantly around the DELTA Cytosponge project and was nominated trustee to the charity in May 2022. Having retired as a full-time rural GP in 2015 he took on a role as Cancer lead for Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical commissioning group. This was a part time role funded by Macmillan. His role was to improve cancer care in Cambridgeshire in any way he could; to influence decision making and funding and to involve patients, carers, primary, secondary and tertiary care. He found this work both incredibly rewarding and at times very frustrating and has learnt a lot about delivering improved care pathways and encouraging cooperation between primary and secondary care. It is this insight that he feels he brings to HCUK. Bill Mathers Trustee Bill is a retired company director with the majority of his spent career in the Footwear and Fashion Industry. He worked with many of the large international brands before starting a design and sourcing company supplying the major High Street retailers and supermarkets. Latterly he was also involved in the Recycling and Waste Management industry. With his business background, especially in new start-ups, he will be able to add some valuable input to our very necessary and worthy charity.