Board of Trustees
The CSF Leak Association is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This means that we are both a registered charity and a body corporate (accountable to and regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator). The Board of Trustees is responsible for general oversight and the strategic direction of the CSF Leak Association.
Under our current structure, Trustees also make all day-to-day decisions on the management of the charity and its work. Trustees are currently elected/re-elected each year from within the membership, although a Trustee may also be co-opted by the Board. All trustees go through an application, election and induction process.
David Baldwin (Chairman)
David lives in the Highlands of Scotland and is a Chartered Town Planner with over a decade’s worth of experience in the development industry, having most recently focused mainly on renewable energy generation/transmission and large-scale residential; he also previously ran his own small web and graphic design business. David was a keen outdoor and extreme sports enthusiast until 2013, when he first suffered a CSF leak after two osteophytes (bone spurs) punctured the dura in his thoracic spine. Ever since, he has been working passionately and proactively to raise awareness of the condition across the UK. David was a co-founder of the charity.
Clare Sargeant (Secretary)
Biography coming soon.
Pete Marnick (Treasurer)
Pete was one of the CSF Leak Association’s founding trustees and re-joined the Board in early 2018, after taking a short sabbatical. Pete first experienced CSF leak-related problems in 2009 after a spinal fusion operation lead to a CSF leak. This was subsequently patched. He is currently under the care of his third neurologist and has received treatment in both the UK and Germany. He remains under investigation and continues with treatment. Pete has a keen interest in anything aviation related and now works with one of the UK’s train operating companies. Gardening is his favourite pastime when symptoms allow. He is determined to make a difference to those affected by CSF leak-related conditions. He recognises there are many challenges ahead, but is optimistic for the future. He dares to dream that one day others may not have to experience any of what he has gone through.
Clare has lived with a hypermobility syndrome and POTS for many years before becoming a spontaneous leaker in October 2015. Along her leak journey, she has also developed migraine and trigeminal neuralgia, and continues to suffer daily leak symptoms despite blood patches and surgery – although thankfully not to the same extent or intensity. She has decided to focus on what she can do now, that she couldn’t do whilst flat. She is grateful for the opportunity to advocate for those of us who so often feel isolated and voiceless. She hopes to use her skills developed in her career to further the charity’s aims. Clare is a clinical scientist working in Medical Physics in the NHS. She lives in Southampton with her husband and loves to be distracted by all things craft and sewing related.
Tamsin developed a spontaneous spinal CSF Leak in January 2011, 6 months after landing her dream job which had involved relocating to Ireland. Awareness of CSF leaks in Ireland was extremely limited which meant that the path to diagnosis was fraught with difficulty resulting in both diagnosis and and treatment in the UK. After multiple blood patches and a VP shunt Tamsin’s leak is now managed although she has developed chronic migraine along the way. Tamsin’s professional background is in Human Resources and, through her work as a trustee, she hopes to apply that knowledge combined with her enthusiasm for providing other leakers with the support that she missed in her journey, in supporting the Association in its future endeavours.
Our patient representative is not a member of the Board of Trustees and does not have a formal decision-making role within the charity. Their remit is to represent our membership and patients more generally within the organisation and, in particular, on the Medical Advisory Committee.
Patient Representatives are appointed for a set term and anyone within the membership of the CSF Leak Association may apply for the position, after which their application will be considered by the Board who make appointments. The patient representative will normally be a current or former CSF leak sufferer.
Sarah lives in a market town near Cambridge and worked as a Botanical Illustrator until illness made this no longer possible. Sarah’s CSF her leak started spontaneously in January 2010. She has been treated in various UK hospitals and her final treatment in Germany in 2015 appears to have worked, but she is now being treated for rebound high pressure issues. Sarah, like many leakers, has also been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos III (an inter-connective tissue disorder. When she is able, Sarah runs a small design company from home and is also a classically trained singer. Sarah was also a co-founder of the charity.