The David Nurse Appeal

The David Nurse Appeal

The David Nurse Appeal

Can you give a regular donation today to give hope to people with mesothelioma? 

One of our long-time supporters, Jane Nurse, has shared the moving story of her late husband David’s mesothelioma journey.

Please read Jane’s story and consider setting up a regular donation to help make our vision of a future free of mesothelioma, a reality.

“David’s battle with mesothelioma from the beginning to the end – and how his greatest wish is that somebody will soon beat it!
“I know many say it but David truly was a larger than life character, a proud man but with a snappy, witty response to anything anyone said. Not afraid to speak his mind. A bit like marmite, some loved him, others not so much, but everyone would say he was always positive, kind and true to his personal and moral values.

One of the greatest injustices of mesothelioma is that it is preventable. It is not caused by lifestyle choices … but simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being exposed to asbestos. It is this which we as a family find so hard to come to terms with.”

“What if he hadn’t worked where he did he might be here now.”

“David’s mesothelioma journey started in January 2018. He had a niggling pain in the left hand side of his chest. After numerous trips to the GP he was sent for an x-ray, given antibiotics for potential pneumonia and had a further x-ray. There was more fluid not less so he had a CT scan followed by a biopsy and eventually in November 2018 was diagnosed with pleural epithelioid mesothelioma.

We didn’t have a good diagnostic experience. The medical professionals knew all about lung cancers but had very limited experience of mesothelioma. We left that hospital reeling, thinking we were in a dream. David was fit, playing 18 holes of golf several times a week just feeling a bit puffed on the hills. By the time we got home we had decided we were not going to accept what we had been told and just wait for the inevitable there must be something that we could do.

David took the option of surgery in December 2018 having an extended pleuracotomy and decortication procedure. This was a major operation but he always believed this gave him the best chance of beating the disease. For 12 months he was MDF man, macroscopically disease free.

At the same time I made contact with Mesothelioma UK, our lifeline. It was such a relief to find people who knew about the disease and were positive about living with it rather than dying from it. We got help with navigating the practical benefits and allowances as well as contact with other patients and their carers through the support network. To us this was invaluable we felt we belonged somewhere in the mesothelioma family at last.

David died on 26th June 2021 in hospital. He fought until his very last breath and died from sepsis contracted after a round of experimental chemotherapy. I can have no regrets about his death as a consequence of his weakened immune system. He so desperately wanted to try anything to beat it rather than just accept the inevitable “sitting in God’s waiting room” without treatment. The thing I am pleased about is that he had hope to the very last minute that he would live. It is for this reason that we have and I shall continue to always support fund raising and awareness raising activities for mesothelioma.

We want the postcode lottery of access to information and treatment to be addressed so that patients don’t have to accept what they are told locally or find their own way through the options. Patients also need access to the legal system to enable them to fund specialist treatment if needed.

Mesothelioma UK is the pivotal charity for bringing all of this support together. Experts in the disease they scoop patients and carers up and give them the information they need to make informed choices and to live well with mesothelioma. But it is a small charity and too many patients slip through the net because of ill-informed but caring professionals not having the relevant knowledge to signpost them in the right direction.

Please keep fighting and raising funds for Mesothelioma UK to remedy this travesty.”

Jane Nurse