Lifetime Achievement Award for Dr. Gregory Deleuil
On 18 June 2019, JHMRF presented Dr. Gregory Deleuil, Medical Advisor to the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia (ADSA) with the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund Lifetime Achievement Award.
For thirty-five years, Dr. Deleuil has been providing medical support for the ADSA’s members. After ten years, his involvement became personal as well as professional when his mother Alice was diagnosed with mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in Darwin, Australia; she died nine months after receiving the diagnosis (1996).
Dr. D. has travelled extensively to raise awareness of the public health as well as the occupational hazard posed by exposure to asbestos and has lectured throughout the United Kingdom – including multiple presentations at the annual Parliamentary Asbestos Sub-Group Asbestos Seminar – as well as in Poland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Belgium. During his frequent trips to the UK, he had the occasion to learn about June Hancock and the Fund – the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund (JHMRF/ the Fund) – which was set up in her memory and he took part in several events co-hosted by the Fund and the law firm of Irwin Mitchell, which had represented June in her titanic battle to hold T&N, plc to account for the negligence of its subsidiary J. W. Roberts Ltd.
In 2009, Dr. D visited Armley (Leeds) in the company of campaigner Jason Addy from the Save Spodden Valley group. He saw first-hand the conditions in which residents had lived check-by-jowl with the J.W. Roberts asbestos factory in Canal Street. It was exposure to the asbestos from this factory that caused the mesothelioma contracted by Maie Gelder, the mother of June Hancock. When June contacted the same cancer 12 years later, she was in no doubt about what lay ahead. It is a rather chilling coincidence that Dr. Deleuil and June Hancock both lost their mothers to the same cancer caused by non-occupational asbestos exposure.
Upon learning of the publication by the JHMRF of the landmark Mesothelioma Handbook (2016), Dr. D. initiated discussions between the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia and the JHMRF for permission to publish an Australian adaptation of the Handbook. The Australian version, which was launched in 2017 by author Dr. Clayson, was warmly welcomed by mesothelioma sufferers and family members who said that it had proved a valuable and informative resource.
Present for the June 18 event in London were solicitors Adrian Budgen, Ian Bailey, Guy Darlaston, Alida Coates and Leah O’Keefe from Irwin Mitchell; Laurie Kazan-Allen, a Patron of the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund, also attended. Adrian Budgen had been June’s solicitor and was instrumental in establishing the Fund to carry on June’s battle to conquer mesothelioma. In his capacity as a Trustee of the Fund, he made the presentation to Dr. Deleuil of the inaugural June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund Lifetime Achievement Award for services to asbestos victims saying:
Adrian Budgen said, “On behalf of my fellow JHMRF trustees, I am both honoured and delighted to present the first June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund Lifetime Achievement Award to you (Greg Deleuil) in special recognition of your nearly 40 years of outstanding service to mesothelioma sufferers and their families, in Australia, and your very important campaigning and awareness-raising work around the world, including the UK. We owe you a great debt of gratitude, Greg, and this award comes with our very best wishes and love; thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”