Who We Are

LAM Action is a UK registered charity (no. 1167610 in England and Wales). Members consist largely of women with LAM and their families and friends. LAM Action is managed by an Executive Committee, all of whom are volunteers and most of whom have LAM. We employ a part-time co-ordinator, Jill Pateman, who is based in Nottingham and works in our office on Wednesdays.

Jill Pateman

LAM Action Co-ordinator

Tel: +44 (0)7710 527636
Email: jill.pateman@office.lamaction.org

Jill joined LAM Action in December 2016 following a long career in the Civil Service and several jobs in the charity sector. Alongside working for LAM Action one day a week, she continues to facilitate training courses run by Breast Cancer Care for clients who have completed their hospital treatment.  She lives in rural north Nottinghamshire with her husband, dog and two cats.  In her spare time she enjoys walking, gardening, reading and theatre.

Leanne Lillywhite-Sutton

Chair LAM Action

Leanne lives in Stourbridge in the West Midlands with her husband James, daughter Isemay, son Olly and two dogs Millie & Badger. Leanne is Chair of LAM Action, a keen fundraiser for the charity and also supports her Husband with his Financial Advice Business. In her spare time she loves shopping (especially for shoes and handbags), taking her dogs for long walks in the countryside, doing spin classes, eating out, gardening, enjoying family days out, spending time in the South of France and is (for her sins) a devoted West Bromwich Albion FC fan. Leanne was diagnosed with LAM on Valentine’s Day in 2012 after suffering with multiple pneumothoraces for over a year. Leanne was co-opted to the Executive Committee in October 2014 after being involved in various fund raising activities.

Kelly Vance


Kelly was diagnosed with LAM over 20 years ago and has served on the Executive Committee since 2007. She was elected Chair in June 2012 and served in that position until June 2017. A lawyer, dog lover, wine enthusiast and addict of home renovation shows, Kelly enjoys volunteering in her spare time to help LAM Action. She lives in London with her partner, Kevin, and their two rescue dogs.

Sarah Sharples


Sarah Sharples is LAM Action's treasurer and was elected at our Annual Meeting on 7th June 2014. Sarah was diagnosed with LAM in May 2011. Sarah is a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant and runs her own accountancy firm in Clitheroe. She leads a very active lifestyle, which includes travelling, going to the gym, spinning, yoga and walking. She loves to share her love of being active with her daughter and miniature schnauzer.

Gill Hollis

Gill lives in Edinburgh with her husband Peter, and was diagnosed with LAM in 1992, aged 27. However, a lung transplant in 2004 has allowed her to live an active life again. Gill works in the investment industry but more recently has developed a parallel career as a health advocate. Her interests are travelling, playing sport and photography, and she’s never happier than when combining all three!

Professor Simon Johnson

Simon is Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Director of the National Centre for LAM at the University of Nottingham. His research group works on how the lungs are damaged in chronic respiratory diseases including LAM. He is medical advisor to LAM Action, was co-chair of the European Respiratory Society Task Force on LAM, is a specialist clinical advisor to the Tuberous Sclerosis Association UK, and is a member of the LAM Foundation basic science board and the British Thoracic Society Council. When not at work Simon enjoys music and the cinema, tries to play guitar (not always successfully) and attempts to ride a mountain bike without injury.

Ilona Leighton-Goodall

Ilona has a Masters degree in zoology and has worked in television production and for arts charities. She currently manages an independent bookshop in east London where she lives. She was a keen swimmer but began experiencing increasing breathlessness and LAM was diagnosed in 2017. She continues to swim to maintain lung function and for mental health and she also cycles everywhere, as long as it’s flat.

David Mercer

David first became aware of LAM when his partner, Julie Mullins was diagnosed in 2007. He was co-opted on to the Executive after attending the AGM in the same year. David is a television producer and used his charm to persuade Juliet Stevenson to become LAM Action’s Patron. David looks after the organisation of our London Marathon and British 10k runners, as well as the Ride London cyclists so please get in touch if you or a friend are tempted to give any of these events a try.

Sally Merritt-Collins

Sally lives in Kidderminster in Worcestershire with her very tolerant husband, three re-homed dogs and three horses. Her corporate career included 24 years in the Electricity industry in a variety of Finance and Human Resources roles. In 2001 she became an independent HR Consultant and has worked with many different clients all over the country. Life these days though mostly revolves around dogs and horses and the rather hard physical work that entails. She was diagnosed with LAM in 2015 after finding herself getting a bit too breathless when doing dressage although she is still very active and generally well.

Heather Mills

Heather lives in Warwickshire with her husband Tom, and daughter Sophie. She is a self-employed hotel consultant, and became aware of LAM following the diagnosis of her close friend – Leanne Lillywhite-Sutton, the current Chair of LAM Action. Wanting to do more to support the cause, she joined as a committee member in November 2018. Outside of work, Heather enjoys spending time with her daughter, shopping with friends, dining out, and supporting her beloved Coventry City FC.

Jo Pisani

Jo is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she leads the UK Pharmaceuticals and Lifesciences business. She advises companies, investors and ministries of health on strategies to grow the Lifesciences industry. She is passionate about public health issues such as dementia, antimicrobial resistance and rare diseases. She is a trustee for the UK Dementia Research Institute and advisory board member for MedCity and University of Strathclyde’s CMAC. She is also a trustee for Findacure, a charity that is bringing the rare disease community together and encourages patients and parents to grow their own patient communities and to share their experiences with others hoping to do the same. Jo is a LAM patient and lives in London with her husband and teenage daughter and is passionate about film, cycling and travel.

Anne Tattersfield

Anne came to Nottingham as Professor of Respiratory Medicine in 1984 with a major interest in asthma. By chance she saw a few patients with LAM so arranged for them to meet together to talk. This was clearly appreciated and led to the first national patient meeting and our early research. Since retirement Anne has more time for activities such as painting and gardening.

John Wood

John joined the LAM Action Executive Committee in 2012 after being involved in various initiatives and fundraising events. John is married to Sarah who has been a LAM patient since diagnosis in 2010, and they live in North West London with their daughter Lucy. John works as a graphic designer by day and also designs for two other charities in his spare time. When he’s not designing stuff he’s usually watching Watford play football and his second home is Vicarage Road.