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Meet the team

At Fight Bladder Cancer we are committed to doing all we can to support bladder cancer patients and their loved ones.

Dr Lydia Makaroff

Chief Executive
Dr Lydia Makaroff is the Chief Executive of Fight Bladder Cancer and President of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition. Previously she was the Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. She has a PhD in immunology and a Masters’ degree in Public Health. She has worked in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and the non-profit sector. She has conducted medical research at the Australian National University, worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington, and for the International Diabetes Federation. 

Lydia likes to cycle through green spaces with her loved ones, and read a book with a cat on her lap.

Follow her on Mastodon, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Melanie Costin

Director of Patient Engagement & Support

Bladder cancer patient
Melanie discovered the charity early on after her own bladder cancer diagnosis. Her role has many facets, including providing information and support; talking at support groups; raising awareness; running the Bladder Buddy service; and being an administrator on our forum. When she gets invited to medical meetings, she gets the patients' voice out there. Her current job is a far cry from her pre-bladder cancer life as a technical draughtsperson.

Away from work, Melanie runs an art class for dementia patients. She also loves cats, music, travel, and she’s a cemetery photographer.

Sue Williams

Office Manager (part-time)
With over 30 years experience in bookkeeping, Sue joined Fight Bladder Cancer in 2016. Sue answers telephones, deals with orders, replies to enquiries, covers the admin tasks, and pulls together the financial paperwork. Together with colleagues, she occasionally loads her car with all things Fight Bladder Cancer and drives to a urology conference or health awareness day to set up our stand. Her late son-in-law was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Away from the office, she enjoys needlecrafts, drawing, beadwork, crosswords, Sudoku and reading. She loves hunting for vintage fabrics and beads at car boot sales and markets.

Sana Gilfillan 

Policy and Communications Manager (part-time)
Sana drives Fight Bladder Cancer’s policy work to advocate for improvements in bladder cancer care in the UK. She builds and helps manage relationships with key stakeholders in government, the NHS, healthcare institutions and other charities to achieve the charity’s policy goals. She is also responsible for overseeing Fight Bladder Cancer’s communications strategy. Sana previously managed the global privacy and cybersecurity portfolios at a trade association in Washington DC and Brussels. Before relocating to Scotland, Sana lived in Canada, the USA, UAE and Pakistan. She has a degree in International Relations and Political Sciences from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Media and Communications Governance from the London School of Economics.

Sana likes to travel, try new foods, and go hillwalking in her free time. 

Amy Jacob

Fundraising Coordinator 
After years of volunteering with various charities, Amy joined Fight Bladder Cancer to help with our fundraising efforts. Her responsibilities involve working very closely with our fundraisers, offering them support and guidance. Amy also processes our donations and sends out patient support materials. 

Outside of work, Amy has a degree in Anthropology and is a keen traveller. She enjoys true crime podcasts and watching the latest Netflix documentary.

Michael Sloane

Bookkeeping Assistant (part-time) and bladder cancer patient
For over 29 years, Michael worked as an accountant for a fire and security alarm company. He assists with the accounting system, data entry and reporting. Michael was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2013, and whilst he has had a couple of recurrences since, he has now been clear for the past three years.

Michael likes to cycle, and has cycled from west London to Brighton a couple times. He has also enjoyed scuba diving in Australia and Malta.

Anupama Gamanagari

Editorial Volunteer (part-time)
Anupama Gamanagari is the Editorial Volunteer for Fight Bladder Cancer. She assists with the website, newsletter, and Fight magazine. She also helps us plan our communication activities around Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. She has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Media and Communication from Birmingham City University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media from Wilson College.

She is also a charity shop volunteer and a photographer who has been published in BBC Midlands, Amateur Photographer Magazine, NoGopress and Docu Magazine.

Janine Norris

Grants Coordinator Janine Norris is our Grants Coordinator for Scotland. She brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and grant writing, including her work at the Muirhead Outreach Project. Janine's responsibilities include researching potential funding sources, maintaining positive relationships with funding bodies, and managing the grant application process. Janine ensures everything she does in adherence to the Fundraising Code of Practice — legal, fair, open, honest, and respectful. Her personal experience with chronic illness drives her commitment to our cause.

In her free time, Janine is an avid reader and nature lover and loves travelling, wild swimming and camping with her husband and children. She also practises yoga and enjoys spending time with her bunny Toya.

Martin Lewis

Assistant Project Manager Volunteer (part-time)
Martin is working on several projects for Fight Bladder Cancer that must be delivered this year. These vary from worldwide clinical trial monitoring, event management, patient support groups database building and awareness campaigning with worker's unions. He is a qualified engineer and project manager, amassing over 25 years of experience delivering projects in the automotive industry.

When not at work, Martin likes to be outside, cycling, running, and walking. He enjoys travelling, often including camping in his VW campervan.

Anne MacDowell

Volunteer Strategic Advisor (part-time)
Anne has over 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She has lived and worked in the US, France, the UK and Switzerland. She has an undergraduate degree in music and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Anne stopped paid work in 2017 and is currently working with charities on a volunteer basis. Anne leverages her extensive experience and training to provide guidance and insight to Fight Bladder Cancer to help us improve outcomes for cancer patients and their families.

Anne has been married to her husband for 34 years and they have two grown children. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, learning, singing and sports.

Get in touch

We’ve tried to make the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have support from medical professionals to review the general medical content of this site, please remember that only your medical team can give you specific advice about your symptoms or illness. Fight Bladder Cancer is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation in Scotland (SC051881), England and Wales (1198773), and was initially established as an unincorporated charity in England and Wales (1157763). It also operates in Northern Ireland.