Representative Remembers With Libby - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Representative Remembers With Libby

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LIBBY -

US Senator Max Baucus came to the Libby cemetery today, reigniting the flame behind a cause he has worked for years to make right.

Current estimates put the number of deaths due to asbestos related diseases in the four hundreds in Libby. Today, senator Baucus heard the personal stories behind many of the gravestones.

"I hope to get some more medical...so we can live a somewhat decent type of life. I mean we're stuck with it, so we gotta make the best of it," said Leroy Billadeau, who suffers from an asbestos related disease.

Billadeau never worked in Libby's now shut down mines, but he could not avoid the diagnosis that forces him to carry around an oxygen tank 24/7. He alone knows nearly forty people who have died from asbestos related diseases, including his younger sister and his brother-in-law. Leroy was one of about a dozen Libby-natives who shared their painful stories with Senator Baucus today.

"I'm gonna do all I can to keep the momentum. I've been here many many times, countless times over the past several years. My one sole goal is to make sure the people of Libby get justice," said Senator Baucus.

Residents say Senator Baucus's work in the Senate has helped them gain access to medical care. Now they worry about what will happen when he retires.

"I don't know if we can get somebody in there that will be as true to Montana as Max is," said Billadeau.

Senator Baucus says he plans to continue efforts such as today's--giving Libby visibility--until he is out of office.

The walk through began at 11 a.m.

Afterwards, Senator Baucus lunched at the Libby Cafe.

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