“If you walk up and down the street and you’re still smiling, you’re not dead. Don’t let the cancer bog you down.”

faces of mesothelioma and asbestos exposureAfter experiencing symptoms for nearly eight years, Ernie Conry was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2002. With a consistently positive mindset, Ernie fought the disease for many years. This is his story.

Exposure to Asbestos

Ernie was exposed to asbestos throughout his life. Most of his exposure occurred when he worked as an auto mechanic, an occupation with a high risk of asbestos exposure due to the asbestos used in brake pads.

Ernie first began experiencing problems as early as 1996, which included pain in his shoulder and ribcage. In 2002 doctors performed multiple tests, including X-rays, CAT scans and biopsies, before finally diagnosing Ernie with pleural mesothelioma.

“I had been visiting with a brother of mine who also had mesothelioma,” Ernie said in video interview. “I found out a month after visiting him…I had the same cancer.”

Ernie’s brother developed the same disease after being exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy. Navy veterans are also among a high-risk group of individuals because of the asbestos used in ships.

Ernie’s Mesothelioma Battle

After his diagnosis, Ernie’s doctors implemented a treatment plan that included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He battled the disease from 2002 to 2009, during which he maintained a positive attitude that served as an inspiration for others.

Sadly, Ernie passed away in 2009.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Ernie seriously considered filing a lawsuit after he learned his disease was caused by exposure to asbestos. He decided to file a lawsuit against the asbestos companies that were responsible for his exposure and subsequent mesothelioma diagnosis.

Watch the video below to hear more about Ernie Conry’s decision to file a lawsuit, or read more about Ernie’s story here.