September 26

Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved!

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“I have made it my life’s mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.” Heather Von St. James

 Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved!  Photo of Heather and her Family
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Photo of Heather and her Family
 Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Facts & Graphic
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Facts & Graphic

Do you know what Mesothelioma is? According to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), it is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, or heart, and a major risk factor for developing this form of cancer is exposure to asbestos. Every year, about 3000-3500 Americans are diagnosed and about 100,000 could die over the next 40 years. It is the least funded form of cancer and lacks adequate research grants/funds. But there is hope and opportunity for change – We can chip in and help.

Ten years ago the dismal figures, far worse than above, got the attention of people around the nation and led to a grassroots organizing effort that has helped raise over $1 million.  How did this movement start? In 2004, groups of survivors, patients and volunteers gathered around the country to raise awareness and raise funds for mesothelioma research. Today, September 26th, 2014, marks the 10th anniversary of the persistent effort started in 2004, and we want everyone to raise their voices, educate themselves and others about this insidious disease.

“We learn to appreciate what we achieve, no matter how small the achievement, because we do it ourselves. Midge Rylander

Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Is your family at risk?
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Is your family at risk?
 Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Asbestos did you know
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Asbestos did you know

Do you know any survivors of Mesothelioma? When Heather Von St. James reached out to me to share her story and information on this 10th Anniversary, I was struck by the fact that a person with mesothelioma becomes sick as a direct result of exposure to asbestos; a product that is NOT banned in the U.S. A person diagnosed with the disease has a life expectancy of just 18 months after diagnosis. Equally disturbing is that symptoms may not appear until 20-35 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Heather Von St. James’ story below is an inspiring and important reason why we must fund research and raise awareness about this disease:

“Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare and preventable cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. I had just given birth to my daughter and I was given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of my left lung, I have made it my life’s mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.” Heather Von St. James

In honor of Mesothelioma Awareness Day, we invite you to reach out and help spread the word about mesothelioma. What are some ways you can give a voice to these innocent victims while raising awareness about mesothelioma? See suggested answers below.

More below!

“I’ve learned in my last 8 years of this journey, that the people who are in it with you can make all the difference in the world.” Heather Von St. James

 Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Asbestos Facts
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Asbestos Facts
 Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! More Facts
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! More Facts
 Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved!  Photo of Heather and her Family
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Get Involved! Photo of Heather and her Family

What are some ways to help raise awareness about mesothelioma? Every time most of us come across an important cause, our first reaction is to ask: How can we help? It is a natural inclination of a caring soul to offer help and so the Meso Foundation has made our inquiry an easy one by providing some ideas on how we can help below. If there are others you’d like to suggest, please add them as a comment below. Thank you!


1. Work with other like minded souls to make Meso Awareness Day an official day in your city, state or country.Click here for instructions!

2. Gather your friends and family, and organize a fundraiser on or around September 26 to mark Meso Awareness Day and raise funds for Meso research. Let Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) know about your fundraiser so they can promote it on their website and through emails.

3. You may also Contact Dana Purcell at for assistance and to receive a package of information about organizing events! Check out scheduled events!

4. Become a Meso Foundation volunteer. This will give you opportunities to attend and participate in events organized by them. Upcoming community events are posted on their website. Click here to view the list.

5. Educate yourself by attending a conference. You can organize sponsorships to help defray the cost of the conference The Meso Foundation is holding two regional conferences in 2014. Learn more here.

5. A quick way to disseminate information is through local media. Contact your local media outlets to let them know about Meso Awareness Day and about mesothelioma. Invite them to cover your event and, if feasible, ask them to do a story on you/your family and/or another local family.

6. Use your social media connections and blog posts to further spread the word and don’t be shy about asking others for help with promoting your efforts.

Click here to learn more about contacting local media and be sure to review our talking points

7. On the morning of September 26, come to Rockefeller Plaza during the Today Show to help raise national awareness!RSVP here.

8. Become an advocate for your community and learn how to connect with your political leaders Click here to learn the basics of advocacy and meeting with your Representatives
What else would you recommend?

Positive Motivation Tip: Trust that every effort you make will bear fruit and touch other lives. Get involved.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from Meso Foundation and Heather Von St James

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


Asbestos, Cancer, cancer misconceptions, Cancer myths, Healing, Mesothelioma, Mesothelioma Awareness Day, postaday

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  • Asbestos is such a nasty thing ! It is scary to think how we used to be so blase about using it before we had the facts – by then it was unfortunately way too late for so many people. Given the fact it is still around, we absolutely need to spread the awareness.

    • Unfortunately, Anna, in our country awareness is not the problem. The bottom line is. Companies already know this is killing their workers. They don’t care. It’s more cost effective to continue to use it rather than convert to products that don’t contain it.

      • WE can still rally against such companies and push for stricter legislation. There is little funding for this type of cancer and so many remain unaware Ben

  • Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for sharing this information. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate cancer, any cancer.

  • This is one form of cancer that you better hope nobody you know gets. I think it is great that they are trying to make people aware of this deadly killer.

  • Thanks for sharing! I’m curious how you get a diagnosis and what the symptoms are since most of us have been exposed to asbestos. Thanks!

  • I have only heard about mesothelioma from TV commercials, so I did not know much about it. There is definitely a need for awareness.

  • I agree that this information needs to be shared as much as possible. I didn’t realize just how awful this disease was!

  • thanks for the great info, although my husband is a navy veteran so this makes me nervous.

  • So sad. I did now know you could get cancer in the heart. This is scary stuff.

  • I cannot believe that something SO carcenogenic is still in use today! AND it’s still in people’s homes. Why is it that an old home has to have a lead paint test before it can be sold, but it doesn’t have to be tested for asbestos?

  • Thank you for sharing this important message. I know that many lives are touched by cancer and it is horrible. My mother in law had breast cancer over the summer and the treatment is rough.

  • A very good friend of mine had to go through asbestos removal in her home. It was super intense and scary. It’s really horrifying how dangerous asbestos is and what can happen.

  • I don’t know any survivors but I had an Uncle who died from Mesothelioma after 35 years of exposure to asbestos- absolutely need to spread the awareness.

  • I see commercials from attorneys all day long talking about this and if you have it to call and they will help you sue.

  • I think this awareness campaign for asbestos will be spread all over the world. Setting awareness for each country must begin now.

  • Glad to see fellow bloggers taking part in Meso Awareness Day. Many of us may not be aware that asbestos can be very detrimental to our health.

  • My husband works in construction, so asbestos and cancer are an always present risk.I know he uses a mask and everything when they work in old houses, but it still doesn’t give me enough peace of mind

  • I have never heard that Asbestos might csuse these many issues. The survey result is really a big shock to me, as they claim to have diagnosed 3000-3500 per year. Everyone must spread awareness about mesothelioma cancer and how much it is harmful.

  • Well done for highlighting the shocking truth about asbestos and the need to raise awareness of mesothelioma! I had never heard of mesothelioma before reading your article and will gladly share it with my followers. Thanks Stephen

  • I didn’t know it is still in use. That comes as a shock to me indeed. My father was diagnosed almost two years ago with mesothelioma. Kudos to you for getting the information out there.

  • In the subsidized housing that was recently torn down near where I live, asbestos was in the edifice of the apartments for as long as they existed. I am talking generations of people living in asbestos. When the workers tore them down they wore full yellow containment suits – yet the people who lived there have never been told that. One of my sisters lived there for years and has had health problems all of her adult life. The government subsidized these apartments, and I believe tearing them down is a way to avoid alerting the tenants to the damage that has been done healthwise.

  • I didn’t realize it got the least amount of funding from the cancer society. That’s awful! Thanks for bringing awareness to this topic and spreading the word.

  • Great article Eliz, to raise awareness to an ongoing issue. In Singapore where I am from, the use of asbestos in buildings has been banned since 1989. However they were widely used in older buildings… We’ve come a long way, but it seems we need to keep awareness up so this does not slip through the system!

  • Mesothelioma is so lethal. People should be more aware of this disease and it could help prevent it.

  • Whoa. I didn’t have any idea about asbestos. It would be ideal if the World Health Organization would have a website featuring every disease/sickness and the list of all the campaigns and orgs that are supporting them to raise more awareness to people.

  • I’ve never heard of Mesothelioma , but I’m glad to learn about it! It’s of utmost important to let people know, as well as to take safety precautions or even be aware of the symptoms! Thanks for your informative post!

  • Wow these stats are shocking! Asbestos has been creeping up on us so quietly over the years, but it’s impact has been heard around the world. This is a wonderful cause to support and uphold!

  • Thanks for raising the awareness and reminding us! I have never heard of this before this post and now its one more person who knows…

  • I’m a big health issues advocate so ill help spread the word. A lot of people still don’t know what mesothelomia is and the dangers of asbestos

  • To be honest, I have never heard about mesothelioma disease before reading this post. I was amazed to read that inhaling asbetos particles that are even present in our homes could be the cause for this type of cancer at a later stage. It is necessary that people get awareness on such crucial issues.

  • The only thing I know about mesothelioma is its association with asbestos and that it is deadly. As far as you know, is asbestos still being produced and used in building construction up to this day?

    • Or is this fight still on those old buildings which still have asbestos to this day? – Fred.

  • Whenever I come to your blog I think everyday is a special day. The cancer is biggest challenge for human kind, never heard about this cancer. Hope one day our scientist will cure it

  • Asbestos is really bad for the health. Your advocacy in spreading words about its dangers are of big help for others to be aware of the disease it can cause

  • I hope the government will take this issue, and have a better solution to all of the victims of this cancer. Would love to share this.

  • A terrible disease. My little friend Kevin, whom I baby-sat as a little dude every day after school when I was in HS, died from mesothelioma a few years ago at the age of 21. AWFUL. We really need to find a cure for this terrible cancer.

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