The Merseyside and Cheshire Asbestos Victims Support Groups held their annual Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday 1st July at Wallasey Town Hall.
The meeting brought together victims and their families, with a sponsored dove release at 12 noon in memory of all those who had lost their lives to mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. The dove release was preceded by a minutes silence for all victims of asbestos and in commemoration of all those killed at the battle of the Somme, and all wars, on this centenary of the battle.
Over 100 victims and their families attended the event.
The children from New Brighton Primary School on the Wirral representing 'Tomorrow's Workers; 'pulled the pegs' with youthful gusto for the dove release, highlighting the day's events, are not only remembering present and past generations of victims, but to continue the fight to rid their future of asbestos and the insidious diseases they cause.
Nurse Lorraine Creech, Senior Mesothelioma Nurse Specialist and key-note speaker for the day said: "We welcome local families, patients and carers to join us on this Action Mesothelioma Day to pay tribute to those people affected by mesothelioma and also to help raise awareness about the genuine sinister consequences that asbestos can have."
Lorraine gave a presentation, which included an up-date on the latest research on mesothelioma, including immunotherapy and some of the more long standing treatments for mesothelioma. During the question and answer session, it was mooted that more should be done for lung cancer patients, in general. MAVS will be considering its resources in this regard.
Steve Rotheram, MP for Liverpool Walton, and Honorary President of the Merseyside Group attended on behalf of all the Merseyide and Cheshire Members of Parliament, all of whom were at the Liverpool Anglican Catherdral, at the Battle of the Somme commemoration.
John Flanagan, Information Officer for MAVS said: "This year's event is more important than ever, to remember all those whose lives have been taken by all asbestos related diseases, including mesothelioma. In the last budget, the government allocated £5 million to research into finding better treatment and a cure for mesothelioma. Most regretfully, there is still no cohesive strategy by national government, to deliver these goals."
He added: "While one-off sums like this are very welcome, we still need annual guaranteed funds equal to what other cancers have spent on them for research. Mesothelioma is still the poor relative of all cancers, with less funding than any other for research. Successive governments and insurers ignored the clear dangers of asbestos for decades; should they not have a levy to pay for this research and find a cure for this manmade disease?"