It’s been a long time in the making, but the mesothelioma community has finally achieved a monumental goal with the recent passage of H. Res. 771. The resolution officially makes Sept. 26 National Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

This victory proves that when the mesothelioma community acts in tandem, we have the power to make a difference. As Mike Angelides said in the firm’s official statement, the proclamation “creates a powerful tool that will help us continue to raise awareness about mesothelioma and the fight to find a cure.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I would add that over the past year, the mesothelioma community has united to form stronger bonds than ever before. Let’s take advantage of this victory to keep mesothelioma in the spotlight and to continue promoting awareness about the dangers of asbestos.

In the past year alone, the public has become more aware about asbestos. Just yesterday, Andrew Schneider, the reporter who sounded the alarm about Libby, Mont., published an extensive investigative report on AOL News. It’s called “Killer in the Attic” and gives a revealing look into the danger of asbestos in older homes.

Then there was also the asbestos scare at Madison Square Garden. While the dust wasn’t asbestos, it garnered national media attention as broadcasters realized that even the slightest
chance of asbestos exposure is dangerous enough to cancel a professional basketball game.

Advocacy work on behalf of mesothelioma awareness has also continued to grow as volunteers with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation received airtime
on the Weekend Today Show studio in New York in celebration of Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

Just as impressively, the number of Miles for Meso 5K Races hosted throughout the nation nearly doubled this year with races taking place in Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and Florida and cumulatively donating more than $100,000 to mesothelioma research.

On the medical side, the advancements and discoveries being made across the globe are encouraging. This past fall, I attended the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) conference in Japan. There I learned that, while a mesothelioma cure is still far from being found, new discoveries are being made at the cellular level that hopefully will continue to extend the quality of life for victims and eventually cure mesothelioma.

As you look back over the year, it’s easy to see the mesothelioma community is making a difference. Let’s continue to build on this success as we move into 2011.