Mesothelioma Awareness Day, which takes place on Sept. 26, is fast approaching. If you’re thinking about getting involved this year, now is the time.

National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness and research funds for mesothelioma. It first began in 2004 when it was created by a group of Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation volunteers. In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution designating Sept. 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Every year since then, participation in the awareness day has grown larger and more widespread.

The day is especially important to friends, family and caregivers of mesothelioma patients – as well as mesothelioma victims and survivors themselves. To participate in Mesothelioma Awareness Day this year, choose one of the below options:

  • Organize a fundraising event. Hold the event on Sept. 26 to raise funds for mesothelioma research. Examples of real fundraising events include Miles for Meso and other 5K runs and walks, Kayaking 4 Meso, Muffins for Meso, Bruce A. Waite 5K Miles for Meso and many more.
  • Attend an event. Even if you’re not hosting an event yourself, attending someone else’s fundraiser is a great way to participate and contribute to Meso Awareness Day. View the upcoming community events  to see if there is one happening near you.
  • Contact your local media. Let your local newspapers, radios and TV stations know about Meso Awareness Day so they can do a story on you, your family or your event and help spread awareness about the serious disease.
  • Make Meso Awareness Day official in your city and state. You can request your city or your state to recognize Meso Awareness Day by contacting the proper officials. The Meso Foundation has step-by-step instructions for how to do this here.
  • Attend a mesothelioma conference. The Meso Foundation is holding two conferences in 2014 for interested participants. Its Regional Conference will take place in Philadelphia, PA on Sept. 26, and a second Regional Conference will take place in Chicago on Oct. 10.
  • Go to the Rockefeller Plaza during the Today Show on Sept. 26. The Meso Foundation will be on the Today Show on Sept. 26 promoting the awareness day, and you could be among the crowd showing its support by holding signs and wearing Meso Awareness Day t-shirts.

If you know you want to contribute to Meso Awareness Day this year, why not participate in our Miles for Meso race? Our annual Alton race will take place the day after Meso Awareness Day, Sept. 27. Find out how you can get involved here.