Mother with Pleural Mesothelioma Raises Funds and Awareness Through Marathon

A mother diagnosed with a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure is determined to raise awareness after her condition went undiagnosed for more than a year.

Emily-Jane Scandrett, from Tamworth, has pleural mesothelioma, a disease typically seen in men over the age of 75. Despite undergoing numerous tests, her illness remained undetected for 17 months, including throughout her pregnancy.

At 41 years old, Scandrett is uncertain when she was exposed to asbestos, commonly found in buildings constructed before 2000. She is now advocating for increased awareness of the symptoms among both medical professionals and the general public.

During the fifth week of her second pregnancy in May 2022, Scandrett began experiencing severe chest pain. "I felt like I was being stabbed in my rib cage, and the pain radiated up to my chest, shoulder, and right arm," she shared with BBC Radio WM. Despite being hospitalized four times and undergoing numerous scans and blood tests, all results came back normal, leaving her unaware of the serious nature of her condition.

Nine months after giving birth to her son, on October 31 of last year, she received the devastating diagnosis that her cancer was incurable.

While her condition cannot be cured, Scandrett has undergone six cycles of immunotherapy to manage her symptoms. Reflecting on her experience, she said, "I've heard of asbestos but never gave it much thought. My body didn’t choose to inhale asbestos; it just happened. More awareness needs to be raised among the general public and health professionals about the risks."

Despite her diagnosis, Scandrett remains positive, stating, "I’m very fortunate that I am still here, I’m living my life."

To raise funds for Mesothelioma UK and Asbestos Support Central England, Emily-Jane Scandrett and her husband participated in a walking marathon across Worcestershire on Saturday.

Scandrett emphasized the urgent need to eradicate asbestos from buildings. "Currently, the rebuilding program in England is projected to take over 400 years to remove all the asbestos from schools and hospitals. That is simply unacceptable," she stated.

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