Family lives under the cloud of asbestos

Georgie Cicero lost her mother to mesothelioma and now her father has been diagnosed with terminal asbestos cancer. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d418732
Georgie Cicero lost her mother to mesothelioma and now her father has been diagnosed with terminal asbestos cancer. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d418732

The Mt Lawley resident, who works in West Perth, said she was shocked beyond words when her father Tony called with his diagnosis in March.

‘The other night he said to me: ‘I helped build this house with my own two hands, I worked so hard to put this roof over your head, but this house probably killed your mother and now it’s going to kill me’,’ she said.

‘To watch someone so vital and strong go through that is the cruellest, cruellest thing.

‘In any way your parents dying is awful, but this disease is very painful and aggressive. You have to get your lungs drained continuously because it is like drowning in your own fluid.’

Ms Cicero said it was ill-fated timing for the City of Subiaco to find asbestos fibres at Lords Recreation Centre within weeks of her father’s diagnosis.

‘I myself was a member of Lords for many years, but at the end of the day what is the point of going to a health club to get healthy if years down the track you are potentially exposed to this deadly disease?’ she said.

‘If you tell me there is likelihood of some asbestos, I won’t go near it.

‘There is no safe exposure to asbestos and my family are living proof of that.

‘This city needs to get serious about getting rid of all asbestos in all buildings.

‘This is not about the dollar; this is about people’s lives.’

Ms Cicero said she and her siblings recently underwent preliminary testing for mesothelioma.

They will need to be tested every two years for the rest of their lives.

‘We are now living under that dark cloud of ‘Will we contract it as well?” she said.

‘Your mind plays all kind of cruel tricks; I have literally been having a pain in my side ever since Dad contracted it.

‘Mum was robbed of watching her grandchildren grow up.

‘Now my family is facing the same thing again and I just want people to understand’