The niece of a ‘happy family man’ who died from an asbestos-related illness has started a campaign to raise awareness of such conditions.

Simone Lucas describes her uncle Terry Lucas as a ‘happy family man, who enjoyed the pub, motorbikes, football and loved his dog, Reggie’.

Terry died in May of last year, after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

He was a widower with three adult children had lived in Bromley for most of his adult life and chose to move to Eastbourne after his wife, Janice, sadly passed away.

Simone started the campaign to raise awareness in the run up to Action Mesothelioma Day, which took place on July 3 with events taking place nationally every year.

Simone and the family also hope to inform other families of the options available to sufferers once they are diagnosed.

Simone says that her uncle began to complain of pains in his chest approximately four to six months before December 2013. Terry, who was still working at this time, suffered a sudden pain when lifting doors and thought at first he may have pulled a muscle in his chest. When it didn’t get better, he decided to see his doctor and he was sent for an x-ray and blood tests. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, just prior to December 2013.

Simone said, “He was incredibly strong, despite the diagnosis and was willing to fight, so much so he agreed to try a trial drug to see if this would give him more time, but unfortunately his body was not strong enough to cope.”

Simone says that Terry was unable to continue to work and was very concerned as to how he would manage financially.

The family contacted solicitors to see if there may be help available for Terry and to find out when he had become exposed to asbestos. The solicitors who represented Terry, discovered after investigations that as a qualified carpenter, Terry had become exposed to asbestos at work. Sadly, Terry passed away before his claim was concluded, but as it had been started prior to his death, it was possible to continue on behalf of his estate.

Simone is now urging people diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses to contact a solicitor as soon as they have a diagnosis to give them a chance of getting compensation.

If you or a family member have been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness, please contact us on 0800 294 3065 where we will be able to support and advise you in the best way possible.