Thank You, Dad – A Tribute to Those Who Have Loved and Cared for a Father with Mesothelioma

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There is so much to learn from our parents. From learning how to walk, how to ride a bike, or even how to change a part in a car, parents are a source of knowledge that children can discover and grow from. When a family member is diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, it doesn’t just affect the patient. It impacts the whole family and support system of the individual who has been diagnosed. Caring for a loved one with mesothelioma or lung cancer is a large undertaking, but something many siblings, children, and spouses must endure.

Men are exposed to asbestos more often than women, making them 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer than their female counterparts. The typical mesothelioma patient is a man above the age of 65 with a blue-collar or military background. Because of the age and gender demographics of mesothelioma patients, many of them are fathers. 

Officers – UA Local 98Carlo Castiglione Jr. knows all too well what it is like to care for a parent diagnosed with mesothelioma. Carlo’s father, Carlo Sr. passed away from mesothelioma after working over a span of 46 years in the plumbing industry. As a leader in the Local 98 Plumbers Union, Carlo Sr. worked diligently for many years to ensure job safety and security for union members, eventually becoming the head of the union. As a member of a multitude of boards supporting and advocating for plumbers, Carlo Sr. truly embodied what it means to be a leader. When Carlo Jr. graduated high school and decided college wasn’t the route for him, he followed in his father’s footsteps, making him a third-generation plumber.

When reflecting on how his father got him involved in the field, Carlo Jr. recalled his dad saying to him “I got you the job, now the rest is up to you.” Carlo Jr. took that sentiment and ran. Following the lead of his father and grandfather, Carlo has now been a member of Local 98 since 1985 and has held leadership positions since the year 2000, ultimately mirroring his father’s path and heading the union. Carlo Jr. has worked alongside his brother, uncle, and cousins throughout his career. 


CARLO CASTIGLIONE Obituary (2012) - Detroit, MI - The Detroit NewsCarlo Jr. referred to his father as a “superhero” and reflected on all of the hard work his father endured as a plumber during the height of asbestos use. When asked about his father, Carlo Jr. replied, “I’m not half the guy my dad was; he did stuff I never had to do.” Since getting involved with union leadership, Carlo Jr. has worked thoroughly to ensure Local 98 has plumbers’ best interest at heart and continues to serve in honor of his father. Additionally, Carlo Jr. honors his late father’s example by being a devoted father to his own children. This Father’s Day we are sending extra love to those who have cared for, mourned, and loved a dad with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.