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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
'Cancer hug' woman launches site
Debbie Brewer at dockyard
Mrs Brewer's father was a dockyard lagger when she was a child
A Devon woman who developed lung cancer from contact with her dockyard worker father has launched a website to offer support to other sufferers.

Debbie Brewer was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung, last December.

Her website, Mesothelioma and Me, provides information and advice for sufferers and their families.

The site also includes an online diary of her own experience of learning about and living with the illness.

'A missed cancer'

Earlier this year the Ministry of Defence agreed to compensate 47-year-old Mrs Brewer, from Plymouth, because she developed the disease from hugging her father, Philip Northmore, an asbestos lagger at Devonport Dockyard, when she was a child.

Although it can lie dormant for 40 years, when the symptoms of mesothelioma do manifest themselves, it is usually fatal within about two years.

I think sometimes people can relate better to someone else's personal experience
Debbie Brewer

Mr Northmore died of asbestos-related lung cancer last year aged 68.

Mrs Brewer said she hoped the website, which has been created by her daughter, would be a "positive" thing to come out of her situation.

"I hope anyone who has recently been diagnosed or their families will be able to get information and support from the site," she said.

"I think sometimes people can relate better to someone else's personal experience.

"It needs to be highlighted, it is something that's not really in the public domain.

"It's a very missed cancer and there needs to be more awareness."

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