Action Mesothelioma Day – Friday 7th July 2017

Leading medical experts from across the UK are attending an event in the North East on Friday, as the region remembers people lost to asbestos cancer on Action Mesothelioma Day.

Thousands of people across the UK have lost their lives to mesothelioma – an aggressive lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure – over the past 20 years, with levels of the incurable cancer in the North East being some of the highest in the world.

Experts predict at least 2,500 deaths nationally each year from mesothelioma for at least the rest of the decade.

Action Mesothelioma Day was established in 2006 as a remembrance day for people lost to the disease, as well as a means of raising awareness of the disease and vital funds for mesothelioma research in the hope that a cure can one day be found. It was also founded as a means to promote an Action Mesothelioma Charter, much of which has now been achieved.

The event in the North East, held in Walkerville, Newcastle, is one of a series around the UK, and will host some of the leading experts nationally in this field, including Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, and oncologist Dr Alastair Greystoke from the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

There will also be the annual dove release and ‘roll call of honour’ in memory of those who have passed away.

Chris Knighton – founder of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund (MKMRF) and one of the founders of Action Mesothelioma Day – has organised the region’s event. She lost her husband Mick to mesothelioma in 2001, and since then has raised over £1.5million to fund ground-breaking research into the disease. MKMRF also funds a dedicated mesothelioma nurse to help sufferers in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Chris said: “The North East is one of the areas worst affected by the disease in the UK.  Action Mesothelioma Day brings together, patients, their families, along with health and safety representatives and health and legal professionals, providing much-needed support, care and information on best possible treatment and clinical trials.

“We hope anyone whose lives have been affected by mesothelioma now or in the past will join us on this important day.”

Specialist law firms from across the country are coming together to support the North East event, including Newcastle-based Sintons.

Raelene Lingam, who was a senior intensive care nurse before becoming a specialist asbestos lawyer, said: “Mesothelioma is a cruel disease which has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent workers who have been unwittingly exposed to asbestos while going about their daily lives. In the North East, we see particularly high rates of diagnosis and death, and I frequently see first-hand the horrendous effect this disease has on sufferers and their families.

“While currently there is no cure, occasions like Action Mesothelioma Day and the fantastic efforts of people like Chris Knighton to raise funds and awareness will hopefully one day change this.”

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