Williams’ Head of Performance Engineering, Rob Smedley, is helping raise awareness of mesothelioma by hosting a Grand Prix fundraising dinner. The auction will have a number of ‘money can’t buy’ Formula One memorabilia and experiences which are likely to draw interest from Formula One fans from afar.
The Smedley family have personal experience of mesothelioma; a type of cancer caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos as Rob’s dad was diagnosed with the disease in 2015 and lost his life to it two years later. After diagnosis, Rob’s parent’s felt very lost and alone, they contacted Mesothelioma UK, a national charity dedicated to improving the care and treatment of people with mesothelioma. After speaking with Leah Taylor, Mesothelioma UK Nurse Specialist for the North East, they began attending the PRASAG support group meetings. They gained much support and advice from the group and realised what a valuable lifeline it is for people going through such a difficult time.
Mesothelioma affects approximately 2,700 people in the UK each year. There is no cure for mesothelioma and limited options for treatment. The Smedley family realised how little research there is regarding this type of cancer within the UK, with people often thinking “It’s a dying cancer and it won’t happen to me.” Mesothelioma receives little funding compared to other cancers and the family became aware that research is so desperately needed.
Samantha Cox, from Newton Aycliffe, learnt about the devastating effect of these diseases first-hand when her father was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Samantha, founder of PRASAG (Paul Readhead Asbestos Support Awareness Group) decided to create a group in memory of her father. Samantha is a qualified Counsellor and with the assistance of Leah Taylor (Mesothelioma UK) and Chris Knighton (MKMRF) PRASAG is able to provide a professional holistic approach, which encompasses all areas of supporting, such as emotional, physical, social and financial.
PRASAG provides support and awareness for people affected by asbestos related diseases and their families across the north east of England.
If you wish to support Rob’s fundraising efforts, please visit the following JustGiving page: https://goo.gl/yEcSQn