Thousands of mesothelioma victims and their families are forced to face off against this aggressive disease each day. Even more disturbing is that the American Cancer Society says around 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and roughly 10,000 worldwide. The patient’s struggle to live is constant, so organizations from the American Cancer Society to mesothelioma law firms like MRHFM want to make sure that the fight to end mesothelioma is constant by making every day Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day began in 2004 when a small group of volunteers banded together to raise awareness of the disease. Since then, participation has grown to thousands of volunteers nationwide, and support is still growing.
In fact, a bill designating September 26, 2009 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day
was introduced and passed without amendment in the Senate on September 25, 2009 (S.Res.288). The bill was introduced to the House on September 24, 2009 and passed without amendment on November 29, 2010 (H.Res.771).
This means, on September 26, 2013, the nation will observe its third “official” National Mesothelioma Awareness Day by walking, running, rallying, fundraising, and even marching for the cause. Many municipalities, organizations, and other supporters have even gone the extra mile by promoting Mesothelioma Awareness Week, and even Mesothelioma Awareness month.
Asbestos and mesothelioma awareness groups say that Americans can go that extra mile as well by forging ahead long after this extraordinary day comes to an end.
How? By Getting Educated, Spreading the Word, and Donating.
Don’t know much about mesothelioma? You’re not alone. Mesothelioma is misunderstood by many, but fortunately, once you’ve armed yourself with the facts, you’ll have the fuel you need to make a full commitment to the fight.
The following are 10 Mesothelioma Facts to chew on—compliments of the U.S. Library of Congress.
- Mesothelioma is a terminal, asbestos-related cancer that affects the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart, or testicles.
- Workers exposed on a daily basis over a long period of time are most at risk, but even short-term exposures can cause the disease and an exposure to asbestos for as little as one month can result in mesothelioma 20-50 years later.
- Asbestos was used in the construction of virtually all office buildings, public schools, and homes built before 1975 and asbestos is still on the United States market in over 3,000 products.
- There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos.
- Millions of workers in the United States have been, and continue to be, exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.
- Mesothelioma is a difficult disease to detect, diagnose, and treat.
- The National Cancer Institute recognizes a clear need for new agents to improve the outlook for patients with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
- For decades, the need to develop treatments for mesothelioma was overlooked and, today, even the best available treatments usually have only a very limited effect and the expected survival time of those diagnosed with the disease is between 8 and 14 months.
- Mesothelioma has claimed the lives of such heroes and public servants as Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., and Congressman Bruce F. Vento, and a high percentage of today’s mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos while serving in the United States Navy.
- Many of the firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers from Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, may be at increased risk of contracting mesothelioma in the future.
Spreading the Word.
Today, more than ever before, getting the word out quickly and to a large number of people is as easy as tweeting, posting messages on Facebook, or sending email blasts to family and friends—and asking them to pass it on.
You can tip off your local news media about Mesothelioma Awareness Day and other events or you can even request a vanity plate that says “curemeso” or another encouraging phrase. You can add mesothelioma awareness ribbons to your website or blog, mailing supplies, checks, and even your clothes (try pins and patches).
Remember, anything that helps raise awareness each and every day equals progress.
You can donate to any number of organizations that work tirelessly to end mesothelioma. Just a few of the most well-respected organizations include the American Cancer Society, the Lung Cancer Institute, and the National Cancer Institute. We choose to donate for Meso Awareness Day to the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago. Learn More.
For more information about mesothelioma, request your free copy of 100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma here—compliments of MRHFM.
American Cancer Society | www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National institutes of Health (NIH) | www.cancer.gov
U.S. Library of Congress | www.loc.gov