I was very sad to report earlier this month that our beloved meso warrior, Debbie Brewer, passed away after battling six years against mesothelioma. Her funeral is set for Thursday, June 20, a 1 p.m. at Weston Mill Crematorium, Plymouth, U.K. Debbie’s family says all whose lives she touched are welcome to attend the service. Well-wishers are asked – per Debbie’s request – not to wear black to the services.
The family also requests in lieu of flowers that mourners make a donation to either St. Luke’s Hospice, whose loving staff cared for Debbie at the end of her battle, or the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund. Donations may be sent in care of Walter C. Parson Funeral Directors at The Firs, 702, Budshead Road, Crownhill, PL6 5DY.
Debbie, from Eggbuckland, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006. At the time, she was told she had only months to live, but she was determined to overcome this deadly disease. Mesothelioma is a rare form of asbestos-related cancer that affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) or the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). In rare cases, it also can affect the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma). Debbie suffered from pleural mesothelioma. She explored experimental treatment in Germany, which succeeded in shrinking her tumor for a time.
Debbie was a tireless advocate for awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure. It is believed she contracted mesothelioma from being exposed to the asbestos dust on her father’s work clothes. He was employed as an asbestos lagger at Devonport Dockyard, and died three months prior to Debbie’s diagnosis. Debbie worked with the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund in the U.K., and petitioned Parliament for asbestos victims right.
Her advocacy work spanned the globe. She shared her story with a worldwide audience through her blog, Mesothelioma & Me, and worked with asbestos and mesothelioma advocacy groups in the United States including the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation). In 2012, Debbie was a special guest speaker at ADAO’s International Asbestos Awareness Conference in Los Angeles, where she received the 2012 Alan Reinstein Award for “her extraordinary commitment to education, advocacy, and personal support to countless patients and families.”
Debbie leaves behind a daughter, Siobhan, 26; and two sons, Richard, 24, and Kieran, 16.
Debbie’s former husband, David Brewer, told the Plymouth Herald, “Debbie’s family would like to see anyone who was inspired by her to join them at the service. Her passing has left a huge hole in a lot of people’s lives, but we take comfort in knowing she has inspired so many people in her campaign to raise awareness about mesothelioma.”
Source: Plymouth Herald