Posted in August 2012

We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a common 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 George as told by his daughter Mary, 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.

George’s Story

(shared by his daughter, Mary)

Name: George

State: Texas

Date of Diagnosis: 02-JUN-2009

Date of Death: 15-AUG-2009

Diagnosis: epithelioid pleural mesothelioma

Treatment: chemotherapy

How has asbestos changed your life?

Mesothelioma Awareness Day will always hold a special significance for me. On August 15, 2009, my father passed away as a result of mesothelioma. That alone would mark the day for me, but even more significant, my Dad, George, was just short of his 77th birthday (Sept. 26), the same day designated as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

My father first started getting sick a couple of years ago. He had a constant cough and began losing weight and experiencing shortness of breath. He went to see his primary care physician and was diagnosed with pneumonia. This happened several times, and the story was always the same. He even had fluid on his lungs, and he would have a short hospital stay, and even though the fluid was tested, there was no diagnosis and he would return home. The doctors didn’t seem to have any sense of urgency to find out what was going on. I began looking on the Internet, and he had seven of the nine symptoms for mesothelioma. At that point, I insisted my father receive a biopsy to find out what was going on with the recurring fluid in his lungs.

On June 2, 2009, we received the diagnosis: epithelioid pleural mesothelioma. By the time he was diagnosed, he was already in stage 4. Despite trying chemotherapy, he passed away by August 15. The system failed my father; there was just no sense of urgency. Despite the advanced state of his mesothelioma and the toll it had already taken on his body, he immediately began talking to the doctors about treatment options. He went through this whole process wanting to fight it. He did not give up until the very end and was willing to do anything necessary. He was definitely a warrior. 

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