At our Annual General Meeting in August the CSF Leak Association Chair, David Baldwin, stepped down and I became Acting Chair. I accepted the role with a huge amount of trepidation, knowing that David would be an impossible act to follow.

In 2014, David laid the foundation stones for the CSF Leak Association (with the unwavering support and energy of his wife Cerian) when he launched a website sharing the information he had learnt about leaks during his own quest for treatment. He has been the engine driving the organisation forward ever since.

In 2015 David mustered fellow leakers to join him in setting up the CSFLA Charity (awarded charitable status in February 2016), with the aim of ensuring leakers in the UK had access to world class diagnostic and treatment options. Since then, he has worked tirelessly (most of the time from his bed) to promote the Charity’s aims and objectives.

In 2016 David's interview with the BBC became the second most read news article on their website (beaten to the top spot by Donald Trump’s election) as he sought to raise awareness of the disabling impact of CSF leaks. You can still read David's article by clicking here.

In January 2018 the first ever get together of UK doctors with an interest in CSF leaks took place and this became the Medical Advisory Committee (or MAC). And despite continuing to suffer from serious ill health caused by his CSF leaks and low pressure, in March 2018 David pulled out all the stops to ensure the success of the UK’s first Leak Week Campaign.

David’s official title for the last few years may have been that of Chair but in effect he has had a hand in website management, administration, public relations, IT management, personnel management, media relations, and so much more. He has taken the Association from website to fully fledged Charity and has certainly earned the rest that we hope will come from stepping down as Chair to concentrate on the planned rebuild of our website.

I know that very many leakers in this country and abroad have benefited from David’s work via the website, as a result of the raised awareness amongst doctors in the UK or through the personal support and advice he so kindly offers directly and via our social media pages. David has achieved so much as Chair that it is difficult to do justice to the impact he has had on leakers and on the awareness of leaks amongst both the general public and the medical profession.

David, I’m sure you will agree, is one of a kind. He is also a proud Scot and therefore I’m sure he will appreciate me raising this traditional toast to him (with slightly altered wording - apologies to Robert Burns!):

‘Here’s to you. Wha’s like you? Damn few, and they’re a’deid’.

THANK YOU David, from us all - the Board of Trustees, the association volunteers, the MAC, and of course, the leakers, and their family and friends.

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