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The Miles for Meso 5K Run/Walk is not just located in Alton, Ill. Past races have been held in six other states. Attending one of these races is a great way to show support for those affected by mesothelioma. This month three Miles for Meso races will take place in Illinois, Ohio and Texas in honor of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, on Sept. 26.

The Bruce. A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K in Ontario, Ohio will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20.

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Bruce A. Waite

Bruce A. Waite was a father, a husband, an educator and a runner. He ran every day for 33 years, never missing a chance to do what he loved, even when weather or injury tried to keep him from his passion.

As an educator, Bruce instilled a passion for learning in his students. He never forgot a face, even after teaching countless students for thirty years. Bruce always put his students first, and that is something that showed when they went on, against all odds, to pursue a higher education.

Bruce’s passion for running was something to be admired. In his lifetime, he had managed to log over 76,000 miles in different states. Nothing could stop him from running. That was until he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2002.

After experiencing trouble breathing and a series of doctor’s appointments, Bruce learned that the source of his symptoms was mesothelioma. Regardless of his diagnosis, Bruce was determined to stay active and continue his daily runs. After some time, running became too much and these runs that he loved so much turned in to daily walks. Soon, he was fighting every day just to breathe. Bruce passed away on March 25, 2003.

When commenting on her father’s illness, Bruce’s daughter Jill said, “We fought hard – my Dad, my Mom, and myself. We fought with everything we had in us, and then some. But fighting is futile when the enemy is so ominous and insidious. It is not a fair fight.”

His dedication to his students as an educator was shown when he requested that a scholarship be set up for students interested in studying education. His wife Nancy and their daughter honored this request by creating the Bruce A. Waite Scholarship, which has assisted six students follow their dreams.

Bruce’s legacy also continues through the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K, which is organized by Nancy and Jill Waite. This year’s race will take place September 20 at Ontario High School in Ontario, Ohio. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation to support mesothelioma research geared toward finding a cure.

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