BRAMPTON: Health campaigner loses four year asbestos cancer battle
A HUNTINGDONSHIRE cancer sufferer has died less than two months after calling for greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
David Phillips passed away on Saturday after battling with the fatal lung disease mesothelioma for four years.
The 64-year-old had never knowingly worked with asbestos, but it is thought he might have came into contact with the deadly building material while clearing out a storage cupboard in a London office 40 years ago.
Mr Phillips, of Belle Isle Crescent, Brampton, was an ardent campaigner for greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos. He was a member of the mesothelioma patient support group at Papworth Hospital and last year did a parachute jump for Mesothelioma UK.
Speaking to The Hunts Post last month, Mr Phillips said: “It [mesothelioma] is one of those things that has been kicked under the carpet.
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“It affects people from all walks of life. At the moment, it is affecting a lot of teaching staff that were in schools.
“The thing I am a bit concerned about children being affected. I want to see more action. There is a lot of money that goes into breast cancer care, but mesothelioma gets hardly any funding whatsoever.”
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Mr Phillips was born in Muswell Hill, London, in 1947 and moved to Huntingdon with his first wife 35 years ago. He was a travel agent in London for 40 years.
A few years after taking early retirement, Mr Phillips suffered a panic attack and was unable to breathe. Initially, he was diagnosed with pleurisy, but it was later found to be cancer.
The father-of-two underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and an operation to halt its progress but last year was told the cancer had returned and had spread from his left lung to his right.
He had a keen interest in fishing and would often go fishing with son Robert. He also loved model trains.
He married his second wife Cinzia over a year ago and has a stepson, Sebastian.
His daughter Laura, 31, raised �1,200 for Mesothelioma UK by completing the Run to the Beat half-marathon in London in September.
She said: “Dad had many friends and had a great sense of humour and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. We are so proud of everything he ever did, including his sky dive when he raised money for his charity.
“He will be dearly missed and not a moment passes in the day when we don’t think about him.”