Posted in August 19, 2013 

Rachel ShanyfeltWe 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 Rachel, 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.

“Outliving the Unlivable” – Rachel’s Story

Name: Rachel

Location: Alabama, USA

Date of Birth: 10-JUL-1967

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

Date of Diagnosis: 01-APR-2011

Treatment: Removal and reconstruction of left diaphragm, left pleural with left lung resection and pericardium, chemotherapy

How has asbestos changed your life? (updated 5/31/2017)

When you are given a death sentence and are blessed enough to outlive the unlivable, by a month or day, you call it a victory. On 07/10/2013, I turned 46 – a day that I was told I would never see. God is bigger than cancer! AND He gives us a chance to help the ones that don’t know they are dying…yet…

I have no idea where I was truly exposed, as multiple family members worked with asbestos and could have been a source of familial secondhand exposure. My father worked the Navy and then in Thomas Foundry with asbestos, my mother worked at Hays Aircraft and came home covered in insulation made with asbestos, and my uncle was a mechanic working with Raybestos brakes — I loved the way he smelled like a mechanic. My uncle ended up dying with lung cancer, which was assumed to be mesothelioma. All three worked with asbestos, and naturally I very close to all. So I guess I had the perfect storm to get it. It’s a shame…if we would have only known. My mom grieves everyday at the possibility of giving it to me.

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