Sherwood “Sher” Temkin, who, with his wife, Libby, had long advocated and financed cancer screenings and research, has succumbed himself to mesothelioma, an aggressive, incurable cancer that is nearly always caused by asbestos exposure.
Temkin’s death, in early February, comes twenty years after his daughter Robyn lost her battle with another type of cancer, malignant melanoma.
Robyn’s premature death at age 22 spurred Temkin and his wife to establish the Robyn Temkin Memorial Fund. It provides free cancer screenings, finances cancer research, and sponsors medical presentations.
“My parents didn’t want any other family to go through what they went through,” said their surviving daughter, Kim Temkin-Taylor.
Ironically, Sher Temkin eventually faced his own battle with cancer, in his case mesothelioma, a form of the disease that strikes the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma is most often triggered when the victim inhales airborne asbestos fibers, which lodge in the lung.
While mesothelioma usually takes decades after asbestos exposure to develop, by the time a diagnosis is made, the patient’s outcome is invariably grim. Indeed, many mesothelioma victims die within a year of diagnosis, and few survive for five years or more.
There is currently no cure for the disease, and so far, it has been mesothelioma lawyers, not researchers, who have had any real success in their battle with the disease. In numerous—and many high-profile—legal cases, asbestos lawyers have obtained large, even multimillion-dollar, awards and settlements for mesothelioma victims and their families.
Like many mesothelioma victims, Temkin, a Florida resident, had long worked in an industrial setting. With his brother Blair “Bud” Temkin, a plastics engineer, he started a foundry called Port Shell Molding, which produced aluminum, brass, and bronze parts for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as well as Mercury Marine propellers and Charmglow barbecue grill parts. At the company’s peak in the 1980s and 1990s, it had some 30 employees.
While the dangers of asbestos have long been known, the material can still be found in many industrial plants, as well as in homes and schools. Known for its heat- and fire-resistant qualities, asbestos was long used in insulation and ceilings, and in a vast array of parts, including automobile brakes and piping. Asbestos has not only been linked to mesothelioma but also to other deadly diseases, including lung cancer.
Like Temkin, many victims of asbestos exposure only become sick years after inhaling asbestos fibers, which explains the high percentage of mesothelioma victims who are of retirement age. But because, even today, asbestos is still widely present, mesothelioma can, and does, strike younger generations as well. That’s become a particular concern for the doctors and mesothelioma lawyers who have seen the catastrophic consequences of the disease all too well—and all too often.
*This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we’ve brought relief—and recovery—to those injured by the negligence or harmful actions of others. In the process, we’ve litigated some of the country’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, helping victims of mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases get answers—and justice.