A CANCER victim who died from an industrial disease has left a posthumous plea to the Government to help other sufferers.

Alan Clark was diagnosed with pleural plaques in 2000 and earlier this year was told he had only six months to live after developing the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.

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be reinstated after it was ended by the House of Lords.

Gordon Brown has said an announcement on pleural plaque compensation will be made when Parliament resumes in the autumn.

Mr Clark was diagnosed after years of working with asbestos as a thermal insulation engineer on various Teesside industrial estates.

Mr Clark, who visited London before his death to lobby MPs about the illness, took a provisional compensation settlement of £1,500 for pleural plaques, but refused to take a full settlement so that he could claim for mesothelioma if it developed.

Before his death, he said: “When I was diagnosed with pleural plaques I panicked. It felt like my death certificate had been signed and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I was told I had mesothelioma.

I worried about it ever since.

“I never expected to get cancer so quickly. I thought I had decades left. I am living proof that pleural plaques can lead to mesothelioma and I want the Government to take what has happened to me into consideration.

“Pleural plaques sufferers should be compensated for the damage to their lungs and the worry of the death sentence hanging over them.

They should receive that compensation quickly.”

GMB regional secretary Tom Brennan said: “Tragically, far too many of our members have suffered in the same way. His tale is a reminder of what the fight for compensation is about and we will not back down until we have justice.”

The 59-year-old, who died last month, was one of the last people to successfully claim compensation for pleural plaques. A change in the law in 2007 means sufferers may only qualify for compensation when diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Before he died, Mr Clark, who lived in Ormesby Road, Hartlepool, made a video calling on the Government to restore compensation to pleural plaque sufferers.

It was screened at the Trade Union Congress conference this week, and in it he pleaded with ministers to support the unions in their attempts to help fellow sufferers.

The video, called Hope, outlines the reasons why unions are calling for compensation for pleural plaque sufferers to be reinstated after it was ended by the House of Lords.

Gordon Brown has said an announcement on pleural plaque compensation will be made when Parliament resumes in the autumn.

Mr Clark was diagnosed after years of working with asbestos as a thermal insulation engineer on various Teesside industrial estates.

Mr Clark, who visited London before his death to lobby MPs about the illness, took a provisional compensation settlement of £1,500 for pleural plaques, but refused to take a full settlement so that he could claim for mesothelioma if it developed.

Before his death, he said: “When I was diagnosed with pleural plaques I panicked. It felt like my death certificate had been signed and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I was told I had mesothelioma.

I worried about it ever since.

“I never expected to get cancer so quickly. I thought I had decades left. I am living proof that pleural plaques can lead to mesothelioma and I want the Government to take what has happened to me into consideration.

“Pleural plaques sufferers should be compensated for the damage to their lungs and the worry of the death sentence hanging over them.

They should receive that compensation quickly.”

GMB regional secretary Tom Brennan said: “Tragically, far too many of our members have suffered in the same way. His tale is a reminder of what the fight for compensation is about and we will not back down until we have justice.”

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