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 David, as shared by his wife, Barbara, 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.

“Asbestos Kept my Husband from Living the Life He Deserved” – David’s Storydavid

Name: David

State: New Jersey

Date of Birth: MARCH 1941

Date of Diagnosis: MARCH 2005

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

How has asbestos changed your life?

My husband Dave battled Mesothelioma courageously and with dignity for almost 10 years before succumbing to the disease at age 73.

We bought our retirement home shortly before he was diagnosed. We had just started our retirement, where Dave was able to spend time pursuing his passion…sailing. We were looking forward to spending time with family and traveling. Dave fell ill, and we spent a year going from doctor to doctor before getting the Mesothelioma diagnosis. We didn’t know it then, but our lives were about to change forever.

Dave had a VATS treatment in March 2005, then an EPP (Extra Pleural Pneumonectomy) in May 2005. Dave’s lung was removed, as well as the lining of his pleura and diaphragm. Reconstruction was done, as well as chemotherapy and radiation. The surgery and recovery were brutal. We spent most of our time visiting doctors, searching for ways to manage Dave’s chronic pain.

While the surgery and treatments gave him 9 years, it was a very difficult time. We missed holidays, weddings, birthdays and vacations. We spent those 9 years battling Mesothelioma together. He rarely complained, but Mesothelioma caused us to completely alter the way we lived. This horrible disease…caused by asbestos exposure during his military service…kept my husband from living the life he deserved.

Dave rarely expressed anger about Mesothelioma or asbestos. But the more I read, and the more I see that asbestos is still being used, the harder it is for me to not be angry. We must work together to eliminate asbestos…the cause of Mesothelioma.

I love Dave, and I miss him more than words can express. Asbestos and Mesothelioma took him from me, his family and his friends. How many more people have to suffer and die…how many more families have to lose someone…before changes are made?

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