Sheffield man with terminal cancer demands: 'I want answers before it's too late'

Clem Smith is demanding answers before his death.Clem Smith is demanding answers before his death.
Clem Smith is demanding answers before his death.
A former Sheffield labourer battling terminal cancer linked to asbestos, has spoken of his race against time to establish how he contracted the disease which looks set to claim his life.

Clement Smith’s wish is for his family to find out how he came into contact with asbestos believed to be responsible for his mesothelioma.

The 69-year-old is now using Lung Cancer Awareness Month to appeal to his former workmates for information so his family get the answers they ‘deserve before it is too late.’

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Clement, known as Clem, believes he was exposed to asbestos while working as a general labourer at W M Monks Ltd builders merchants in Sheffield, from August 1963 to 1965.

The former factory worker has terminal cancer.The former factory worker has terminal cancer.
The former factory worker has terminal cancer.

Clem, who has been married to wife Margaret for 46 years and is a father of three sons and a daughter, was employed at the site in Queens Road, where he worked in the yard and was responsible for unloading deliveries, picking orders and serving customers at the trade counter.

He said: “I’m still struggling to come to terms with my diagnosis and what that means for me and my family. I know my condition is terminal, but I have been responding well to treatment so I want to make sure I get the answers my family deserves before it is too late.

“I have so many questions about how I could have been exposed to asbestos and why I wasn’t properly protected, and I think I deserve answers, not just for me but for my family.

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“It can’t change what has happened to me, but hopefully by having my old colleagues come forward, it will enable my family to understand why this happened and how.”

Clem with his family.Clem with his family.
Clem with his family.

Following his mesothelioma diagnosis in August 2016, Clem, of Todwick, near Sheffield, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help provide his family with answers.

Irwin Mitchell is joining Clem in appealing to his former colleagues to provide it with information about the working conditions at W M Monks Ltd.

Adrian Budgen, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, representing Clem, said: “Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and sadly, incurable, form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust fibres. It is responsible for the deaths of more than 2,500 people in the UK every year.

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“We are investigating Clem’s exposure during his time working at W M Monks Ltd and hope that anyone who worked on the premises in the 1960s will come forward with any information they have about the presence of asbestos and what measures were in place to protect workers from exposure to the harmful dust and fibres.”

Anyone with information regarding the working conditions at W M Monks Ltd during the 1960s should contact Adrian Budgen on 0114 274 4420 or email [email protected]