On Saturday October 1st there was “A Walk to Remember the Victims of Asbestos and put an end to Canadian Asbestos Production.” During the day, there was one particular speech that hit a chord with us at the Mesothelioma Center. Bruce Bradshaw is a previous utility worker for Dow Chemical where he cleaned up after trade workers. Many times, Bruce was sweeping up fibers from asbestos products.
We posted the video here, as well as the transcript below.
I am Bruce Bradshaw and I am a procrastinator. On the way to this gathering we stopped at Tim Hortons and over coffee and a muffin I put these words together. Late March of this year I was diagnosed with mesothelioma and told 3 to 9 month was a good guess. My wife, Rosemary, asked “when could Bruce have gotten this messohelova cancer”. (It took weeks to learn to pronounce mesothelioma). The Doctor said 40 to 50 years ago likely.
Well guess what, 40 to 50 years ago I was a utility man (fancy for laborer) at Dow Chemical and was working alongside of Bill Coulbeck. We were cleaning up after some tradesmen, fitters or insulators likely, hence, asbestos insulation.
Bill passed away about 3 ½ years ago with mesothelioma, just over 2 months after being diagnosed. Now I, or we, are really scared. Soon we realized scared and worried will not cure me, so let’s pray for the best, and soon many friends, relatives and neighbours were behind us. Now, 6 months into this journey the Doctors tell us I am in remission. He said it could last a week, a month, or years and I should enjoy each day as a bonus. This is good, but I couldn’t help but think about all those people that did not or will not get a reprieve.
This also makes me think about the people in Canada getting rich by continuing to mine and send this stuff to underdeveloped countries where their workers are now exposed to asbestos and its dangers.
I wish now I could talk to Steven Harper, eye to eye, toe to toe and repeat Rick Mercer’s rant on September 20th. He finished it off with a statement similar to this. “Mr. P.M., Canadians are known the world over as a loving, caring and compassionate people. Do you really want criminals and killers added to that.”
Thank you and God bless.
Eric Oppegaard joined The Mesothelioma Center in 2011 to expand its patient communication and outreach through online and interactive communication.