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Month: November 2023

He taught me how to find my inner strength and for that reason, I never really feel alone.

I thought I knew my husband of forty-nine years inside out. Brian wasn’t complicated and always woke up with a smile and an optimistic approach to the new day. He was a calm, happy-go-lucky, friendly person who always tried his best and as a husband and father to our son and daughter, he excelled. I thought I could read him like an open book and anticipate his reaction to the many speed humps on life’s road. At this point in life, I only knew half the man he really was.

His father was a builder who taught him many tricks of the trade, including mechanics. He then qualified as an Electrical Fitter, an occupation with unfortunately hidden dangers. He seemed to be able to turn his hand to anything practical including fixing the car, making life easier for a young family and a wife who couldn’t even change a light bulb.

He was a many-faceted person, sincere, conscientious, and gregarious, and I loved being his wife.

Over the years, he’d had a couple of close calls with his health, so he made a point of enjoying life, including playing his saxophone and spending time with his granddaughters. That is until after a trip to Midland ED in March 2016, when we heard the words no one wants to hear – Asbestos Cancer. This was the beginning of a roller coaster ride where it often felt like everything was out of control. This is when the warrior in him came to the fore.

At our first appointment with the Oncologist at Charlie Gairdner’s, the doctor explained about Chemotherapy treatment and the risks of trials. I will never forget his words – “Bring it on”.  Brian was prepared to meet any challenge to try to delay the inevitable. He’d read about Barry Knowles’ seven-year survival and was determined to stare down the monster, which is Mesothelioma.

Over the ensuing twenty months and countless trips to Charlie’s, I watched him cope with many invasive and uncomfortable procedures, which he handled with patience and dignity. My admiration for his strength and resilience grew and grew with every appointment and visit.  Even at the end, he was still good-humoured and never complained.

For me, I have peace knowing he must have felt loved and secure as he passed away quietly at home in his own bed.  I am also grateful for being with him every step of the way on the Meso journey because during this time, Brian taught me how to find my inner strength and for that reason, I never really feel alone.

Over the years since Brian’s passing, it’s taken time to adjust, but thanks to the support of my family, I’ve leant new things, honed my piano and writing skills and even taken on a fur-baby, Bree, who is great company.

I’m also pleased to support the Reflections team, bringing hope and comfort to others who have gone through what I have been through.

If I could give a word of advice/encouragement to anyone affected by mesothelioma, or any terminal cancer, it would be LIVE YOUR DREAMS.

Ros, wife and caregiver

Partnering in the Message of Asbestos Safety

Reflections is proud to collaborate with like-minded companies dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of both industry and the broader community.

Morgan Environmental is one such company. With over 50 years of principle experience, they specialise in environmental consultancy, with a particular focus on asbestos consultation, remediation, and management.

Daniel (Dan) Morgan, the owner and founder, boasts more than 35 years of experience in asbestos and hazmat remediation and holds relevant qualifications.

“We are delighted to partner with Jo and the team at Reflections,” says Dan. “They do a great job supporting people with mesothelioma. By working together to increase awareness of the ongoing risk of asbestos, we’re hoping to prevent more people from having to endure this terrible, avoidable asbestos-related disease.”

Morgan Environmental’s expertise includes asbestos and hazmat remediation planning, project oversight for asbestos removal, 4-stage clearance certification, asbestos surveys, risk assessments, due diligence, remediation, and emergency response.

They also provide personalised asbestos awareness training on clients’ premises, tailoring courses to each company’s specific needs. These courses cover communication of an organisation’s asbestos management obligations, plans and procedures, ensuring that staff and contractors receive comprehensive awareness, communication and training when working with or around asbestos building materials.

Jo Morris, Reflections’ Co-founder, recently joined Dan in training sessions to enhance the message of asbestos safety. Their sessions provide valuable insights into the importance of correct asbestos management, showcasing the potential consequences of improper safety practices, particularly for management. This collaboration aims to ensure a deeper understanding of the critical need for asbestos safety in the construction and property management industry.

We look forward to working more with Dan and his team.

Reflections is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting asbestos safety and supporting people affected by asbestos-related disease. If you are interested in learning more about our work and how we can support your team in spreading this important message, please do not hesitate to reach out. We would be pleased to hear from you.

The Hope Companion – new mesothelioma resources being piloted.

The last 18months have been a journey filled with hope, extensive research, unwavering determination, incredibly hard work, and, above all, a sense of affirmation as to how much these resources are needed.

From our own backyard all the way to the shores of the UK, we’ve left no stone unturned in our quest to gather and review existing resources. Then, through a collaborative effort involving people living with mesothelioma, their caregivers, families, and frontline clinicians, we developed content that will enhance people’s journey. The Hope Companion is designed to guide, inform and support – bringing hope when it is needed most.

These powerful resources will also enable us to extend our support services and the quality of care we provide for people grappling with this challenging disease. 

In partnership with Cancer Australia, we are immensely proud to announce the commencement of our pilot program for this disease-specific resource – the HOPE COMPANION. The compendium of resources has been developed to provide guidance and support to people living with mesothelioma, their caregivers, and loved ones. 

“The Hope Companion is written with a lovely combination of authoritative, well researched information delivered in a kind, empathic style that reaches out to the hearts of sufferers, their carers and their families.”

Dr Bruce Robinson, Lung Specialist, Leading Mesothelioma Researcher

“The Hope Companion will serve as a wonderful resource for patients to navigate their mesothelioma care.” 

Dr Melvin Chin, Medical Oncologist

If you’re affected by mesothelioma, the Hope Companion will accompany you through the entire journey, from the initial diagnosis to end-of-life considerations, and, for caregivers, life beyond death. The Hope Companion is a set of resources meticulously designed with you in mind. Throughout the resources, you will find real-life stories and quotes from people who have been where you are. 

“My loved ones are in pain and are struggling to cope and it gives me great comfort knowing that there are people willing to step in and make a difference.”

Rod, diagnosed in 2017

We extend an invitation to individuals living with mesothelioma, caregivers, and clinicians to become a part of our pilot program. If you or someone you know has been touched by mesothelioma, we welcome your participation. Please express interest before 21 November 2023.

“The Reflections community is like a lighthouse. Shining a light for people in their darkest times, letting them know they are not alone, helping them to weather this storm and highlighting the ongoing risk of asbestos to protect future generations.”

Lizz, wife/caregiver

Join us in our mission to raise awareness about this insidious disease, which can affect anyone at any time. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and offer hope to those facing mesothelioma.

For more information, contact us and we will be in touch.