Posted on January 28, 2016

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 Alan, as shared by his widow Kerry, 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.

“We Made the Best of the Time We Had Left” – Alan’s Story

Name: Alan

Location: Washington, US

Date of Birth: 11-DEC-1952

Date of Diagnosis: 12-NOV-2014

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

Date of Death: 23-JUN-2015

How has asbestos changed your life? As shared by his widow, Kerry  (unedited)

In my husband’s 6th year we noticed his health declining. We went to the doctor numerous times but no one could pinpoint what was going on until in November of 2014 he was found to have fluid pressing on the outside of his lungs. After draining the fluid suspicious lesions were found so he had thoraxic exploratory surgery. Two tumors were found and sent off to pathology. I was waiting in the ICU when the surgeon called me out into the hallway he asked…”Did your husband ever work around asbestos?. I swallowed hard and said not that I am aware of. I spent the rest of the night looking up Mesothelioma that night on the web, crying…knowing that my husband was just handed a death sentence. When he recovered from the surgery sufficiently we did research together…realizing he had probably a year or two at the most left we took the time off work and went to visit his family in Australia…a lovely trip. He made the decision to opt for quality of life over quantity and we made the best of the time we had left…He had wonderfully supportive hospice care, but sadly his body could no longer support his spirit on June 23rd 2015. I held his hand…. and will miss him every day for the rest of my life. Apparently he had been exposed as a child to asbestos fibers from his dad’s work clothes, and asbestos cement products in the house he grew up in.

* * *