The BBC recently aired a radio segment profiling mesothelioma victim Steve Lee and his ongoing battle with the disease. Lee was first diagnosed with the rare and aggressive cancer in 2007. Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos, and Lee suspects his exposure occurred while working at construction sites as a student. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that, because of its tensile strength and fire-proofing qualities, was used in various building materials.
Lee was told at his diagnosis that he would have less than a year to live. He was determined to use his remaining time positively and set on a quest to raise money for mesothelioma research. He helped to raise $62,000 with his running club the Reading Roadrunners when he finished a half-marathon.
That money was donated to help fund a research project at Queen Mary, University of London, where researchers are synthesizing a naturally-occurring compound that is believed to destroy mesothelioma cells. The university matched the contribution by Steve and the Roadrunners, and is building upon work of several Japanese scientists. The researchers are hoping that their work can determine if, in fact, this compound can be used to help treat victims of the deadly cancer.
Dr. Adrian Dobbs, the doctor heading the research team, lost his father to mesothelioma in 1998. When speaking of his current project, Dr. Dobbs remarked, “I think it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever have a complete cure, but if their data are correct then it could certainly have a very powerful effect on giving longevity and a massively improved quality of life.”
Steve Lee is continuing to help raise money for the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund, the group responsible for setting up the research project at Queen Mary.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a mesothelioma lawyer may be able to help.