Posted on May 1, 2017

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 Colin, shared by his wife, who are both a part of our ADAO family. Nurse by trade, writer by choice, Lizz offers help and humour as ‘the cancer sufferers wife’ at 

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.

 “Miracles occur, why not for us?” – Colin’s StoryColin Clarke SYS

Name: Colin

Location: Australia

Date of Birth: 8/31/1974

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

Date of Diagnosis: 11/24/2016

Treatment: DREAM study; Pematrexed Cisplatin & Durvalumab

How has asbestos changed your life? (Shared by his wife, Lizz – unedited)

42 fit, an emergency physician more used to saving lives than being told his was going to end prematurely due to Mesothelioma.

Being a Doctor is the likely cause of his exposure- we won’t ever know for sure. It doesn’t matter.

He is well, looks well and feels well after the “shit week” following chemo has passed.

Our kids 8 & 12 and I, have grown accustomed to the 3 week cycles our lives move in. The one where Dad hibernates rarely leaving his bed. The one where we all get to return to being a “normal family. ” One that isn’t living with dying and then prep week, where hospital waiting rooms and results anxiety steal precious time.

I’m the positive one. The wife the mother and wearer of Pollyanna pants. Miracles occur, why not for us? There is always hope, more time gives us greater hope. I know death, as a nurse I’ve seen plenty of it. I don’t fear it. I do fear debilitating illness. I worry about how weak he will become and how that will shape the children’s memories of him.

It’s not so easy for him, the one unlikely to see his kids graduate. We clash – positivity v pessimism. Each learning to give the others attitude, space and acceptance. We’ve agreed to not hide. To share the uncomfortable questions and truths. It’s not easy, but it is the only safe guard we have.

Largely I look for the gifts, the rays of sunlight poked into the dark umbrella we shelter under. Understanding that the bucket list is less important than a cup of tea and shared laughter in the sunshine.

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