A Birchall Blackburn Law employee has been challenged to run the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon in full safety clothing and protective mask to raise money for an asbestos-related lung cancer research fund.
Stuart Hughes, from Chester, will run 13.1 miles (21km) dressed head-to-toe in asbestos safety equipment for the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund (MKMRF) – part of the British Lung Foundation.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable type of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 2,500 people a year die from the lung cancer, which can take between 10 and 50 years to develop after breathing in the deadly material.
Stuart, aged 41, says: “I’ve met and talked to many people and their families affected by mesothelioma and it is an utterly devastating, very cruel and aggressive disease.
“One of the problems is that mesothelioma is a rare cancer and affects mostly people of retirement age, so it’s often forgotten and attracts very little research funding; but the brilliant Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund and the British Lung Foundation are helping to change this.”
The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund is part of the British Lung Foundation. Every penny goes towards promoting a greater awareness and sponsoring vital research studies into mesothelioma. It offers also information and support to people affected by the lung cancer.
To run the half-marathon Stuart will have to wear a disposable coverall suit with hood, safety goggles, gloves and a respiratory mask, which have all been kindly donated by Wirral-based Applied Safety Solutions.
Stuart added: “Asbestos is such a toxic material if disturbed that asbestos removal experts have to wear this strict protective gear. I know it’s going to be tough and hot to run in, but it’s nothing compared to what mesothelioma sufferers courageously face. I’m more worried about scaring the other runners – they’ll think they’ve run into a major chemical leak.”
The Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon takes place on Sunday, March 29, from 9am. Anyone wishing to sponsor Stuart’s challenge can go to www.justgiving.com/Stuart-Hughes-NAH.
The National Asbestos Helpline is a service provided by Birchall Blackburn Law and was set up to help those affected by asbestos gain access to support, benefits and compensation. For details go to www.nationalasbestos.co.uk or call 0808 250 6786.
For more information about the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund go to www.blf.org.uk or call 03000 030 555.