On Action Mesothelioma Day, 03 July 2015, campaigners will come together to remember mesothelioma victims and support the families of those affected at events across the UK.

One such victim is 61 year old Charlie Pearson from Leeds who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.

Charlie noticed his health deteriorating and was persuaded by his wife to see a doctor in 2011. He was sent for a biopsy and it was later confirmed that he had contracted the fatal cancer.

Charlie said: “I was devastated. Usually mesothelioma takes 30 or 40 years to develop but with me it was much less. I know I am dying and I can’t help but think of the time my wife and I are losing together because of this deadly disease.”

After his diagnosis, Charlie contacted Unite the Union, who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for damages. Thompsons successfully secured compensation of over £200,000 from Charlie’s former employer’s insurers by proving he was negligently exposed to asbestos whilst working in construction in the 1980s and 90s.

“Thompsons were fantastic. They sat down with me, went through my employment history. I worked out exactly when I had been in contact with asbestos and they pursued a compensation claim on my behalf. It is a comfort to know that I can give my family financial security when I am gone.”

Karen Reay, Unite Regional Secretary in Leeds said: “Like many other workers Charlie didn’t even realise that he was being exposed to asbestos at the time. Employers have a duty to protect workers from asbestos when any building or demolition work is carried out.”

Watch more about Charlie’s story here: