One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal,
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam can light a room,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care,
One voice can wake up everybody,
One life can make the difference

Gone are the days we used to share,
But in our hearts you’re always there,
Never more than a thought away,
Loved and remembered every day!

Dedicated to the men and women who fought and lost their battle to asbestos related diseases.

A simple little wooden cross,
Tells of our sad and tragic loss,
Of loved ones taken all too soon,
And all because of Wittenoom.

Though each cross may look the same,
Yet each bears our loved one’s name,
We stand before each with bowed head,
And not one word needs to be said.

Every cross has its own story,
But now each name lives in glory,
They fought the fight and sadly lost,
And each of us knows at what cost.

We each have our own heart felt pain,
Yet gathered here all can gain,
Comfort in sharing our common grief,
Strength in numbers is a sure belief.

We think upon our shattered dreams,
Life is pointless, or so it seems,
But life will always keep going on,
With memories of those now gone.

Weep not for the plans you’ll not share,
For others now need all your care,
And those lost ones I’m sure would say,
Please think on me when you pray.

© Lee West 2012.

(Executives note – adfa would like to thank Lee West for letting us share his wonderful poem.)

My name is Jennifer Wendy Piper and I was born on 31st August 1958.

This is my story…

BC – before cancer I was a very fit and active person. I walked everyday – sometimes to work from Balgowlah to Crows Nest, I played A-grade competitive tennis, attended Pilates classes, and I ran in a social running group and had just taken up rowing. The week before I was admitted to hospital in 2006 my partner David and I rode with friends from Guilford via Prospect to Cabramatta on our bikes. Every weekend was full of physical activity. I was a Physical Education teacher from 1980 – 2000. In 1988 I had a small break from teaching to work for my parents in a Framing and Graphic Art business. In May 1988 I had my darling daughter Katie. I went back to continue teaching through the late 80’s and through the 1990’s. In 2001 I retrained to be a Computing and Design and Technology Teacher. I enjoyed extracurricular activities with my students such as sport, school dances, school camps, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions etc. As you can see I was fully involved in anything and everything around me and my family!

In June 2006 whilst working as a teacher at North Sydney Girls High School I had a flu vaccination and being one of the unlucky ones I developed flu. After several rounds of anti biotics I was noticing how extremely tired I was becoming. To walk a flight of stairs at work made me short of breath. I saw a doctor and he prescribed antibiotics but they had little effect. On a visit to my naturopath on a completely different matter he commented on my laboured breathing. I ran socially with him and he knew how fit I should have been.

Read more

 Katie’s Story

After mum was told her tumours hadn’t shrunk but in fact grown, it was clear that continuing chemo or any other treatment would only seek to diminish her quality of life and not actually be productive for her health. She was advised to talk to palliative care department in Mona Vale and start putting things in place for when things began to go down hill – I remember going to that appointment with her, hearing that and leaving completely shattered. Finally, for me at least, it sunk in that this disease was actually very, very real and was going to take my mum from me. It was easy to forget how incredibly painful and serious it really was because of mum’s never failing strength, positivity and dignity throughout the whole thing. Even though there were lots of incredibly scary and sad times, mum did a fantastic job of holding everyone and herself together – it almost seemed like she was definitely going to survive it.

Read more

(Executives note – adfa would like to thank the Piper Family for sharing their stories. Jenny and the family are an inspiration to all of us.)


(Executives note – adfa would like to thank Katie Lomax for sharing her dad Kevan Lomax story, raising awareness & funds during the 2011 City2Surf.)

A Daughters Story

A daughter discovers how her father died from mesothelioma, a cancer caused from asbestos exposure. This is not an uncommon story, thousands have been subjected to this dangerous fibre. Originally the video was made as a pilot, went on to win several awards, Wild Spaces (metro screen) 1997, St Petersburg Green Vision 1998, UTS Golden Eye Award, (best script) 1999, and screened in Canada (Planet in Focus) Long island Film Festival, Brazil and around Australia.

A Barvara Hush Production

(Executives note – adfa would like to thank Barvara for sharing her dad’s story, raising awareness & the video.)