Posted on December 21, 2012 

We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.

This week, we would like to honor the story of William, as shared by his widow, Jackie, who is a part of our ADAO family.

We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone.

“Praying for an Asbestos Ban” – William’s Story

Name: William

Date of Birth: 26-OCT-1935

Date of Diagnosis: 07-MAR-2008

Date of Death: 12-MAY-2008

Treatment: None (except for oxygen, and pain medication)

Province:  Ontario, Canada

How has asbestos changed your life? It was March when Bill went to see the doctor. His shoulder had been bothering him since the fall. An X-ray in December and another in January hadn’t shown any major problems. Now, the cat scan that Bill had a few days before gave the answer. He had pleural mesothelioma, with damage to the left ribs and lung and rapid progression. By the time he saw the specialist a week later, it was too late for chemo or any treatment. His time was limited. We were lucky that Bill could stay home, as he wanted to, for his final days. Two months later, in May, he passed away. He had good care, oxygen and necessary pain medications.

Bill had always watched out for me because of my arthritis problems. He dropped me at the doors of places so I wouldn’t have to walk far. He was conscious of me “not overdoing”  things. Now I lost not only my dear husband of 47 years, my soul mate, my travel companion, but also now my greatest caregiver. I miss him every single day and there will always be an empty spot in my heart. Evenings are lonely. In our young days, when first married, we worked our way around the world, having jobs in Australia and New Zealand, riding camels in Egypt, hitchhiking and youth hostelling in Europe. I have wonderful memories, but I miss the many more years we could have had together, had asbestos not come into the picture.  Bill would be very proud of Leah and Stacy’s efforts, and their “Walk To Remember”  in 2011 and 2012.  I pray that asbestos will soon be banned, so others can work safely and suffer less.

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