This year’s Action Mesothelioma Day event in Manchester was held on Friday 7 July in Sackville Gardens in the city centre.

The event is attended by local MPs, health professionals and family and friends of those affected by mesothelioma. This annual event is to raise awareness and pay tribute to people suffering or who have suffered with the asbestos-related cancer, Mesothelioma.

A dove release remembered all those who have lost their life to Mesothelioma.

All the money that is raised during this year’s awareness day will be donated to the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. June was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in 1994 because she had grown up and went to school near the JW Lees factory. This factory allowed asbestos fibres to escape into the surrounding area which was mainly residential and where a lot of children, like June, lived and went to school.

One of the MPs attending the event drew attention to the first victim of the 1996 Manchester bomb, Stuart Packard. Stuart had been a security guard on the day of the bomb and worked in amongst the dust for weeks after the bomb. Asbestos would have been used in the construction of the Manchester Arndale Centre which was left destroyed and so like June, Stuart had not been working with asbestos but was diagnosed with Mesothelioma some 20 years after his exposure following the bomb attack.

This year the doves were released by representatives of the Japan Association of Mesothelioma
and Asbestos-Related Disease Victims and their Families. In Japan more people are being diagnosed with asbestos related conditions such as Mesothelioma because they lived or worked near to factories which, like JW Lees, used asbestos products and allowed asbestos fibres to escape in the neighbouring areas.

For more information about action mesothelioma day and if you wish to attend the annual event next year, contact your local victim support group for events taking place in your local area.