In Memoriam: Baron and Budd Pays Tribute to the Dynamic Debbie Brewer
It isn’t often that you meet someone who can walk into a room, capture your attention and hold onto it long after you part ways. You aren’t sure what it is — their humor, their smile or simply their zest for life — but whatever it is, it left a lasting impression that you will remember forever. Debbie Brewer was one of these precious few, and the people of Baron and Budd will surely never forget this courageous woman and all that she did for the mesothelioma community.
Baron and Budd mourn the loss of a celebrated asbestos activist, mother of three and all around amazing woman, Debbie Brewer. Debbie lost her brave battle against mesothelioma on Sunday, June 9th, 2013. Throughout her journey with mesothelioma, Debbie inspired countless people across the country with her bold and encouraging work to raise awareness for mesothelioma and advocate for a global ban on asbestos.
Debbie was able to rally many supporters through her blog, “Mesothelioma and Me,” where she documented her experience with battling the asbestos-related cancer. Unlike the many mesothelioma patients, Debbie was not exposed to asbestos through her occupation. Instead, she came into contact with the carcinogenic fiber through the sweet and innocent hugs a daughter gives her father after a long day’s work.
Debbie’s father worked for the Ministry of Defense in the United Kingdom. Between 1963 and 1966, he removed asbestos from pipes without being given the proper protective clothing and being advised by his employer on the proper precautions to take so that the hazardous material wouldn’t leave the work site. As a result, Debbie’s father brought the microscopic fibers home on his clothing and unknowingly put his family at risk of asbestos disease.
Debbie’s father passed away from an asbestos-related disease in 2006. Although Debbie began exhibiting symptoms of asbestos related disease in 1994, she wasn’t diagnosed with the disease until November 2006. She realized that she was suffering from an illness, much like her father’s, which was a result of asbestos exposure.
Unfamiliar with mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases, Debbie felt isolated and needed support. She was able to find medical information about her illness online, but wanted more than anything to speak with others who shared in her struggles, so she took matters into her own hands. In the years following her diagnosis, Debbie developed a community comprised of people who have been affected by asbestos disease through her website, “Mesothelioma and Me,” and her other outreach efforts. She took part in multiple asbestos awareness events and served as a source of comfort and information for those new to the mesothelioma community.
Debbie was recognized multiple times for her efforts, including receipt of the 2012 Alan Reinstein Award from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Her heroic journey has created a more united front in the push to ban asbestos and eradicate this horrible disease. Most importantly, Debbie has served as both a leader and an inspiration for people affected by mesothelioma across the globe.
The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd would like to pay tribute to Debbie Brewer and her many contributions to the mesothelioma community. Several members of the law firm had the honor of meeting her and are, now and forever, supporters of Debbie and everything she stood for.