Barry Knowles was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer back in 2010. He managed to undertake 18 months of chemotherapy, but it failed to improve his condition. The 2-year common prognosis to mesothelioma cases was cut to six months of life for him to live.
“I could see the horror on her [wife, Renee] face, and I could do nothing to comfort her. We had just been told that our time together, now spanning forty-seven years, was going to end in six to nine months,” Knowles wrote in his book, Reflections Through Reality..
However, it was a combination of miracle and blessing that he managed to live 6 more years after the diagnosis. Without medical intervention his tumors slowed down to progress, his 6-month prognosis was prolonged to 12 months until he reached 6 full years of life with mesothelioma.
Daily exposure as a carpenter
Image Source: The Esperance Express
Mr. Knowles started as a carpenter and joiner as early as 14 years old in Perth, WA. Since asbestos was still a more popular construction material back then, he was exposed to it almost all the days of his work life. He only retired in 2007, merely 3 years after the country-wide ban of the use and manufacture of asbestos in Australia.
It was only in 2010 that his asbestos-related cancer was discovered, fortuitously. He fell from a tree and had to take x-ray for bone fractures. Also discovered was a cloud of shadow on his left lung, later identified as mesothelioma.
Since then, he dedicated his life to an inspirational journey with cancer. He donated his blood for mesothelioma research, raised funds for medical research and wrote a book about his reflections and how he battled with cancer together with his family and friends. He embodied hope for every cancer patients who struggles daily to live.
On the 27th of December, 2016 Barry Knowles died at the good old age of 72 years.