How a mum's childhood hugs with her dad may have led fatal cancer decades later

fantastic stories | July. 07, 2017

A mum may have died from cancer as a result of childhood hugs with her father who worked with asbestos.

Susan Macgregor was diagnosed with mesothelioma - the type of cancer most commonl associated with exposure to asbestos – in September 2015.

She died 14 months later, aged 58.

Her husband, Dave, has spoken of his devastation at having his wife "snatched early" as part of a national awareness campaign.

Mrs Macgregor, a fitness enthusiast and keen walker, first noticed something was wrong when she had difficulty catching her breath after exercising.

She went to the hospital where x-rays and other scans revealed the dreaded news - she had an incurable form of cancer that kills almost 70% of people within a year.

Despite undergoing six courses of chemotherapy and an operation to remove part of the affected area of her chest, the mum-of-three eventually succumbed to the disease.

Mr Macgregor, 66, from Willington, told the Derby Telegraph: "The children are absolutely devastated, they've lost their mother, they've lost a friend, the grandchildren have lost their nana and I've lost my wife.

"It's absolutely gutting and nobody can understand why she got it - she was probably the fittest one of us all.

"It was really hard losing her and, after a lot of digging into her work background, we couldn't come up with any answers to that.

"But, following the inquest, the coroner came up with the most likely cause of her being in contact with asbestos was probably through her dad's overalls."

"He was a pipe fitter and used to come home at night in his work clothes and play with her and cuddle her and we think that's how she came into contact with asbestos.

"It only needs one little particle to settle in the right place and 40 to 50 years later you get diagnosed with this awful disease."

Mrs Macgregor's ashes were scattered at her favourite green spot in Milldale, Derbyshire.

Mr Macgregor said he was angry and felt let down by the Government for allowing asbestos to be used in the construction of buildings.

But he said his lawyers were unable to trace the asbestos exposure back to any particular business so he cannot claim compensation.

He added: "Money doesn't bring my wife back.

"I feel like she has been snatched away from me and I would like to hold somebody accountable, but I can't."

Mr Macgregor spoke out ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday – a national campaign which aims to raise awareness of asbestos exposure.

He urged people going through a similar situation to seek help from support groups, such as Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST), as soon as possible.

He said: "I can't emphasise how great DAST were through all of this. It isn't only the victims who are impacted, it is their families and friends too.

"The bereavement support they provide has been fantastic."

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