71-year-old Ealing resident and activist Elizabeth Anionwu has dedicated her life to improving people's health.
She began her career as a west London nurse at just 18 training at Paddington General Hospital and went on to to work for more than two decades at both Willesden and Central Middlesex Hospitals.
She helped found the first nurse-led UK Sickle and Thalassaemia Screening and Counselling Centre at Willesden Hospital in Brent 1979 and since then her tireless activism to help people with the disease has earned her a knighthood and won her The British Journal of Nursing Lifetime Achievement Award in March 2018.
Elizabeth has lived in Acton for 48 years, and while she is now retired she used to teach nursing at The University of West London.
The NHS has just turned 70 and while the current health care crisis means west London hospital staff are more stretched than ever, Elizabeth still encourages people to pursue a nursing career.
Speaking to getwestlondon she said: "I think obviously there are issues in the NHS currently with staff shortages and pay. But I'd still encourage people to go into nursing. I really would - in fact, the opportunities are greater now in terms of career progression and career diversity.
"As a black nurse and a black professor of nursing I'm really pleased to see, from the top of the NHS, huge efforts are being made to address the disproportionately low number of black NHS workers at the higher echelon of the profession. That's beginning to happen - thank goodness!
She added: "I find my book has really encouraged a lot of nurses. It also gives a lot of talks about working as a nurse and the feedback I often get is people can't believe I've had all these issues. If I can cope with them, it gives other people motivation and optimism about continuing their nursing career."
Elizabeth's autobiography "Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union" takes its name from her parents' relationship - they met at Cambridge University.
Elizabeth's mother was Irish Catholic and her father was Nigerian which, at the time, was a scandal and led Elizabeth to spend the first nine years of her life in a children's home. She didn't meet her Nigerian father until she was 25 and believes that meeting him was pivotal in driving her to work with sickle cell anemia patients.
The book chronicles her journey as a black girl raised in a white Britain, from a children's home to becoming a successful health care activist.
She said: "I'm the outcome of an affair between my parents when they were both at Cambridge University. I'm mixed race and I grew up totally with white people and I didn't meet my father until I was 25 so my book looks at identity - there are many narratives of black people my age born and brought up in this country.
"I think it was meeting him that drove me to start working in sickle cell services in Brent and being involved in the charity for sickle cell anemia suffers."
She added: "I decided I wanted to be a nurse at about 4 or 5 when I was at a convent. I had very bad eczema and one of the nuns, who was a nurse, used make me laugh to distract me when she changed my dressings - she was so kind. And from that moment on I vowed to be a nurse and I've never regretted that decision."
A predominant number of sickle cell anemia patients in the UK have African or Caribbean origins.
Elisabeth has chaired several projects for the NHS Sickle and Thalassaemia Screening Programme and has written several papers on the topic.
She explained it was her time as a health worker in Brent that led her to campaign to help people with the disease.
"It was when I was a health visitor in Brent and three of the families I was looking after had children with sickle cell anemia. There was no support for them because nobody knew what it was - that's what I wanted to change."