Friends and family gathered today to remember their loved ones who died from an asbestos-related condition. The memorial, organised by Clydeside Action on Asbestos, provides a place where people can come along and spend some time reflecting on their own memories, and on the toll of the widespread use of asbestos in Scotland.

Phyllis Craig MBE, Director, stated ‘This is the sixth year we have hosted an event specifically for those who have lost their lives to asbestos-related disease. We want to highlight the extent of the loss that is felt when a loved one dies. Immediate family are left bereft with feelings of loss and grief, and the extended network of family, friends and colleagues are also affected by the loss. The tragic fact is that the loss of a life was actually preventable. The dangers of asbestos were known for decades before any steps were taken to protect people from the dangers of asbestos.’

Gary Smith, Director added ‘We need to remember that it is not only men who worked in traditional industries who have lost their lives. Women who have been exposed to asbestos can also develop an asbestos-related disease. Mesothelioma, an incurable tumour in the lining of the lung, causes around 2,500 deaths in the UK each year. In 2015 407 of those who died were women. It is important to highlight this on Action Mesothelioma Day.

Jane Capaldi, who has mesothelioma, will be speaking at the memorial service. Jane added’ I was 63 when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I was absolutely floored by the diagnosis and could not take in that my illness was terminal and that it was caused by asbestos exposure. I have to live with this now and am thankful for every day I have.’

Jim Kelso, Acting Chair added ‘We are extremely grateful to Jane for having the courage to share her story at the memorial service. People travel across Scotland to attend so she will be reaching a lot of people. One of the wonderful parts of the event is having the chance to meet people from Glasgow, Ayr, Edinburgh, Forth Valley, Greenock and further afield. There is a real sense of community and support, which is why the memorial is so important to those who come along.’

 

 

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