This month Eddie was honoured to be invited by Asbestos Awareness and Support Cymre (AASC) to the launch of its Future Generations Project.
The event was held at the Senedd at the beginning of Global Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7) and was sponsored by Mick Antoniw (AM).
Eddie said: “The event was excellent and a real eye-opener about the great work that AASC does for people exposed to asbestos and especially those diagnosed by mesothelioma, as well as their family and friends.
“The AASC’s Future Generations Project is so important and will save lives. The project aims to raise awareness amongst children and young people about asbestos, the risks involved, past mistakes, associated illnesses, how to care for and support people with asbestos related diseases.”
The event included talks by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Vaughan Gething (AM), and the Technical Director of Santia Asbestos Management, John Evans. John spoke about asbestos, its uses, the horrific legacy and the continued presence of asbestos in the UK’s factories, offices, schools and homes.
The audience also heard about the incredible work of Mesothelioma UK – from Liz Darlison, Nurse Consultant and Director of Services for the charity – and the new role for Sarah Morgan. Sarah was recently appointed as a Mesothelioma Specialist Nurse for Wales and told the audience about the care needs of those diagnosed with Mesothelioma.
There was an update from Dr Jason Lester, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, on the James Lind Alliance’s top 10 mesothelioma research priorities, which was published in 2015 and is based on the ideas of mesothelioma patients, their doctors, caregivers and bereaved caregivers.
One of the most emotive talks was from AASC’s Lorna Johns. Lorna introduced the Future Generations Project and its key goals. She told the audience about ‘Jo’s Story’, to raise awareness of some of the issues facing carers and to highlight that carers should not feel alone. Jo had to look after her father after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Jo’s moving account of the impact of the disease on her father – and her family – can be read here.
Eddie says: “There are so many challenges in the battle against the legacy of asbestos but an event like this goes to show that there are a lot of good and smart people trying to help.”