‘Asbestos has ruined our lives’ Wisbech grandmother diagnosed with same cancer which killed her husband

A GRANDMOTHER is searching for answers after she was diagnosed with the same asbestos-related cancer which killed her husband.

Joy Reuben, 77, from Wisbech, believes she may have come into contact with the deadly asbestos dust while she was working for Metal Box Ltd, between 1971 and 1993.

The mum-of-one was a product line supervisor at the Wisbech factory - and now she is appealing to former colleagues who may know about her exposure to asbestos.

She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2011, seven years after her husband, Henry, died from the same disease. He had been exposed to asbestos while working at English Brothers, Wisbech.

Mrs Reuben said: “It was so hard for the family to see Henry suffer and when he passed away we found it very hard to come to terms with.

You may also want to watch:

“I had so many questions about why it had happened. I knew he had been exposed to asbestos dust at work because I used to cough from the dust when I washed his clothes.

“It just feels so unlucky that I too have now been diagnosed with the same horrendous disease and my family now have to watch me suffer.

Most Read

“We were never warned about the dangers of asbestos and never provided with any protective clothing so I had no idea being exposed to it back then would ruin two lives.”

David Cass, an asbestos-related disease expert at industrial illness specialists Irwin Mitchell, is representing Mrs Reuben.

He said: “This is a tragic case with Mrs Reuben’s husband dying of the same horrendous disease and it highlights how employers’ negligence regarding asbestos can be devastating for families.

“Mrs Reuben had just got her life back on track following the loss of her husband which she found very hard to come to terms with, when she became ill herself and was diagnosed with the same disease.

“Understandably their children want answers about why they will lose another parent as a result of something that happened at work many years ago and why their children will not have grandparents to play with.

“I am appealing to anyone that used to work at Metal Box Factory LTD between 1971 and 1993 to get in touch as they may be able to provide answers to the questions held by a devastated family.”

Mrs Reuben added: “The disease leaves me very poorly and with very little energy to spend time with my family. I used to love looking after my two grandsons for my daughter Lynda but I’m no longer able to do that and she had to help me.

“The disease is robbing me of my independence.”

Anyone who is able to help should call David Cass on 0114 274 4559 or email david.cass@irwinmitchell.com

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter