A Quiet Hero, a Gentle Man 

by Laurie Kazan-Allen



Aldo Vincentin was 22 years old when he began work in the Eternit asbestos-cement factory in Osasco, Brazil. He worked there for 4 years to pay for his education. Having become a lawyer, Aldo remained loyal to his former workmates and when local people formalized the community response to Osasco's asbestos problem by forming ABREA, Brazil's Association of Asbestos Victims, Aldo became a founding member and the Vice-President. Aldo was the quiet guy, the one in the background who dealt with legal technicalities and financial details. As other ABREA members received fearful diagnoses, Aldo remained strong; he used his good health for the common cause and remained a lynch pin of ABREA along with Eliezer, the President, and Fernanda Giannasi, its inspiration.

Forty-four years, after he had been exposed to asbestos, Aldo was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and on June 5, 2008 underwent a pneumonectomy at a hospital in Sao Paulo. He asked Fernanda Giannasi to take a photo of him lying in his hospital bed. He wanted people to see for themselves the pain and suffering caused by the asbestos which had invaded his body. The gentle smile and twinkle in the eye were replaced by a harrowed expression; clearly etched on his face was the pain he was experiencing. Aldo fought hard for more days with his family who meant the world to him and for more time with his friends, who loved him. His physical condition would not stabilize; his body could not recover from the trauma it had suffered.


                           Aldo Vincentin (left) with ABREA Colleagues.

Aldo died on July 3, 2008 surrounded by those who loved him. Everyone associated with ABREA knew and loved Aldo; we mourn his loss and are thankful that we had the great fortune to know such a selfless and worthy man.

August 5, 2008



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