A Worthing woman who struggled to support her father’s battle with cancer thousands of miles away has written a book on her experience.
Angie Mackrell’s father, Steve Tuffill, was living in California when he contracted mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer linked to asbestos poisoning.
With Angie living in Worthing, the book – titled American Teabag – describes the difficulty of supporting a loved one so far away and the frustration that, unlike most forms of cancer, mesothelioma is entirely preventable.
“It’s been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through,” she said.
“It is amazing I have got through it and it shows there are definitely ways that people can get through it.
“I’m hoping the book can show people it is achievable.”
Angie said the 12-hour flights were ‘really challenging’, creating a huge financial and emotional burden.
“You want to be by their side every day and make sure they have the best of everything,” she said, adding the book started off as a way of coping with the situation.
She said her father was a keen writer himself, but never managed to get anything published. Her release of American Teabag, which is self-published, holds extra resonance knowing it would have made her father proud to have a published writer in his footsteps.
The book also aims to raise awareness of the dangers of mesothelioma, which is caused by hooked fibres attaching themselves to the linings of internal organs.
Angie is in the process of writing two follow-ups, due for publication in June and next January.
More information on Mesothelioma and asbestos awareness can be found at www.maacenter.org/mesothelioma/