THE MOTHER of a son who shaved his head to raise awareness about mesothelioma, has said more awareness of the disease must be raised.
Sara Goode's father Keith Bigham, of Pontypool, died nearly seven years ago from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Mr Bigham contracted the disease as a result of working with asbestos, but the suddenness of it is something none of his family have ever gotten over.
"He died on November 17, 2006 aged 60, just seven days after he had been diagnosed," Mrs Goode said.
Mrs Goode, 43, of Pontypool said her father's death was completely unexpected.
"He was a fit 60 year old and had never been ill in his life," she said.
She said he had been suffering with a persistent cough, felt very lethargic and had a bit of indigestion but no one thought this was the sign of something life threatening.
"It is the fact I did not know anything about Mesothelioma even though I am a nurse," she said.
"It was very traumatic, I want there to be a cure because no one should go through what we have gone through."
On July 18, Mrs Goode's son Kieran, 14 and his friend Dylan Stiles (cor) 14, shaved their heads during a school assembly at West Monmouth School, in memory of Kieran's grandfather.
Kieran said: "I feel other people should not suffer from mesothelioma. We are trying to raise awareness."
Hairdressers from Hairs & Graces, in Griffithstown, came into the school to shave the boy's heads and even teacher, Julian Barnes last minute decided to get involved.
Mrs Goode said the school was "fantastic."
Overall, more than £700 has been raised so far.
After the event Mrs Goode spoke of the devastating reality of what the money would be going towards, the Keigh Bigham Snowdrop Appeal.
"From the moment you make contact with asbestos, whether you have inhaled it or swallowed it, it lies dormant and there are no symptoms between 30 and 40 years," she said.
"My dad was a painter and decorator and he was a fit man.
"He worked with asbestos for six months, 40 years before the symptoms set in."
She said the charity event was very "touching" and felt it showed a "great friendship" between the boys.
"I feel extremely proud of them," she said.
If you would like to know more information about Mesothelioma and the effects of working with asbestos, contact the British Lung Foundation on: 03000 030 555.