Washing her husband’s clothes exposed Mavis to asbestos

  Trumpet| News | 08 May 2018

Washing her husband’s asbestos-covered clothes led to Mavis Nye contracting mesothelioma.

Ray Nye worked in the Royal Naval dockyard in Chatham and the couple had no idea about the damage that was being caused to Mavis’s health by doing such a simple household chore.

Mavis said: “He used to come home with all of the dust in his hair and all in his clothes. So I just shook his clothes and put them in the washing machine.”

It wasn’t until decades later, in 2009, that Mavis was diagnosed with usually fatal asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

She had chemotherapy over a four-year period before being offered a drug trial at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital. It proved successful and the cancer is currently lying dormant.

“I had four years of chemo,” she said. “I became so toxic and I was dying. I was just at death’s door.

“Cancer turns your immune system off and this drug goes in and turns it back on again.”

Mavis joined an online support group called Mesothelioma Warriors, where sufferers share their stories. She has also set up the Mavis Nye Foundation, through which she aims to raise funds to help fight asbestos-related cancers in the future.

She said: “I’m living a normal life at this moment in time; that’s why I campaign so much. I want to make the world safe; I don’t want anyone to suffer with this dreadful disease.”

Mavis is urging organisations to protect their employees from asbestos exposure. She is supporting IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign. The fourth phase, focusing on asbestos, was launch in London on 9 April.

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