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April 1 through 7 was officially designated as “Asbestos Awareness Week” by Senate Resolution 66 by the U.S. Senate. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization has officially assigned the theme of the 2013 awareness week as “Asbestos: One Word. One World. One Week.”
One of the main goals of Asbestos Awareness Week is to educate as many people as possible on the dangers of asbestos exposure, where exposure can occur, and how to prevent it in an overall effort to eliminate serious asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. By providing valuable information on asbestos, such as facts and statistics, more individuals can be knowledgeable about its dangers.
The Simmons Firm joins the effort to eliminate asbestos exposure and, inevitably, mesothelioma. Below are some of the most important facts and statistics you should be aware of regarding asbestos and the potentially dangerous consequences of its exposure.
- Approximately 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos at their workplaces. (World Health Organization)
- 55 countries have banned asbestos, but the United States and Canada have not. (ADAO)
- Asbestos exposure has been linked to mesothelioma, pleural plaque, asbestosis, and lung cancer. (Simmons Firm)
- More than 107,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases caused by occupational exposure every year, worldwide. (World Health Organization)
- Asbestos fibers can be 700 times smaller than human hair and are tasteless, odorless, indestructible fibers that can float in the air undetected. (ADAO)
- Asbestos exposure can occur 25 to 50 years prior to the appearance of mesothelioma symptoms. (Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation)
The above is a brief list of important statistics and facts surrounding asbestos; however this is not a comprehensive list. For more information regarding the topics covered during Asbestos Awareness Week, please refer to the ADAO agenda here.Comments (0)
The latest effort by asbestos companies to limit compensation to asbestos victims has begun. Asbestos companies have used their political influence to introduce a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. While this won’t impact many of our past clients, if passed, it could hurt future victims of asbestos.
It is called the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act.” This bill will delay, and in some cases, deny justice and badly needed compensation to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. It would be detrimental to future Simmons Firm client cases in two ways:
First, it would delay the process of bankruptcy claims and therefore delay compensation. Second, confidential information disclosed and gathered under this legislation would be used to help asbestos companies evade their liability for poisoning people.
Several asbestos victims are already taking steps to let their legislators know just how bad this bill is and how it will negatively impact people diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. We hope you will join their efforts to ensure these companies will continue to be held responsible for their wrongdoings.
Make Your Voice Heard
If the FACT Act passes, mesothelioma victims would be on the losing end. Asbestos cancer victims need your help in standing up against the FACT Act. Please join the fight against the FACT Act by taking the following steps.
1. Sign the petition!
Go to www.CancerVictimsRights.org. You will see a “Take Action” button on the right side of the website. Click the button and follow the instructions. It only takes a few minutes to sign and send a message to your Congressional Representatives that you oppose the bill.
2. Contact your U.S. Congressional Representative!
Call or e-mail your representative and tell them you oppose the FACT Act. Go to www.house.gov/representatives/find to find your senators’ and representatives’ contact information. By sending an e-mail or speaking to someone at their offices, you will showcase our public support for victims of asbestos.
3. Support the campaign for asbestos cancer victims online!
Follow the campaign against the FACT Act online. If you are a member of Facebook, you can like the Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign by going to the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CVRCampaign) and clicking the “like” button. If you are a member of Twitter, you can follow the campaign’s Twitter page (www.twitter.com/CVRCampaign) and click the “follow” button.
4. Spread the word!
Share this information with your family and friends and ask them to repeat these four easy steps.Visit www.cancervictimsrights.org to learn more and sign the petition. Comments (0)
This weekend Perry Browder, myself and other attorneys and staff with the Simmons Firm will attend the 9th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference in Washington, D.C. We are proud not only to once again be a platinum sponsor of the event, but also to be ADAO’s longest cumulative supporter.
The ADAO Conference plays an important role in bringing patients of asbestos-related diseases and their caregivers together with advocates, medical experts and occupational experts. Events like this are critical in providing up-to-date information and in spreading awareness about the global public health crisis caused by asbestos.
This year’s keynote speakers promise to be some of the best yet.
Captain Aubrey K. Miller, M.D., M.P.H., will present a luncheon keynote speech entitled “Asbestos in the Environment and Workplace: Public Health Issues and Concerns.” Miller is currently the Senior Medical Advisor for the Office of the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institutes of Health.
I’ve heard Dr. Miller present in previous years on non-occupational asbestos exposures. He’s very knowledgeable on the topic of environmental health issues, having published several papers, and his passion for understanding the public health impacts of asbestos is well-respected in the ADAO community and beyond.
He also has expertise in disaster response and emerging threats such as Hurricane Sandy and the World Trade Center Response. Over the past few years, the dangers of asbestos exposure have received increased attention when natural disasters occur. It’s imperative that the public understands the dangerous present in older homes so they can take necessary precautions against toxic exposures that can occur during disaster scenarios.
I’m looking forward to again hearing Dr. Miller speak on the public health issues and concerns related to asbestos.
The keynote speaker for the Unity Remembrance Brunch is an event that inspires and offers encouragement; this year will be no different. Australian asbestos advocate Karen Banton will share how she has continued the work of her late husband Bernie Banton who lost his battle to mesothelioma in 2007. Like many asbestos patients who I know, Bernie did not go down without a fight.
From the early 2000s until 2007, Bernie was widely recognized as the public face of the legal and political campaign fought in Australia. Bernie had pleural plaques and asbestosis before his mesothelioma diagnosis and worked to achieve a binding agreement with James Hardie Industries for a long-term compensation fund to help sufferers of asbestos-related diseases who were exposed to the company’s asbestos-containing products.
In 2009, Karen, along with others, founded the Bernie Banton Foundation with a mission to provide support and information to people impacted by asbestos-related diseases and to promote awareness of the dangerous of asbestos exposure. Karen will also be honored with ADAO’s 2013 Tribute of Inspiration Award.
Linda Reinstein, president of ADAO, and volunteers have once again secured a stellar line up of speakers for this year’s conference. Since the ADAO Conference started nine years ago, it has continually provided in-depth content unavailable elsewhere.
Whether you are a trial lawyer, activist, medical practitioner or have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, this conference has something for everyone.Comments (0)
As a new event on the agenda for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization 2013 Asbestos Awareness Conference, ADAO is proud to announce its Awards and Recognition Dinner. The dinner will take place March 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at The Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. The cost is $100 and the event is open to the public.
At the dinner, ADAO will award conference honorees, including U.S. Representative Lois Capps, Dr. Celeste Monforton and Mavis Nye. These women are being honored for their contributions to asbestos awareness.
U.S. Representative Lois Capps is being presented with the Tribute of Hope Award for her unwavering commitment to public health and safety. Specifically, the political career of Mrs. Capps is committed to helping people improve their daily lives through better schools, a cleaner environment and the highest-quality healthcare. In regards to public health initiatives, Mrs. Capps has helped pass legislation to address the national nursing shortage, curb underage drinking, improve mental health services, improve the quality of our air and water, and more.
Dr. Celeste Monforton is being recognized at the awards and recognition dinner with the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of her firm commitment to increasing asbestos awareness in an effort to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. She is also a long-time supporter of ADAO.
Dr. Monforton is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at The George Washington University School of Public Health. She is chair of the Occupational Health and Safety Section of the American Public Health Association.
Mavis Nye, a mesothelioma patient, will be recognized with the Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless patients and families.
Other awards being presented include the following:
- Karen Banton will be presented with the Tribute of Inspiration Award for her untiring efforts to protect workers’ rights and seek justice for asbestos sufferers and their families.
- The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers will receive the Tribute of Unity Award for its relentless efforts, both nationally and internationally, to protect workers’ occupational safety and health.
- Rob Cagle, who tragically lost his battle with mesothelioma in 2011, will be recognized with the Alan Reinstein Award for his commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless patients and families.
- Jordan Zevon, ADAO National Spokesperson, will be honored for his tireless dedication to ADAO.
During the ADAO Awards and Recognition dinner, the Simmons Firm will be recognized for its contributions and long-time support of ADAO. Full agenda information on the ADAO 2013 Asbestos Awareness Conference, including the Awards and Recognition dinner, can be found here.
The awards dinner is open to the public and will be held on March 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at The Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Click here for registration information.Comments (0)
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s 2013 Symposium is an event for mesothelioma patients, survivors, and family and friends of victims. The event is an opportunity to gather together to raise awareness for the disease, discuss the latest news and developments, share stories and hear from mesothelioma experts.
The conference is being held at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas on March 7 and 8. However, it’s understandable that not everyone can travel to Las Vegas to attend the event in person, especially people currently suffering from mesothelioma and undergoing treatments. For those interested in taking part in the event who are not able to attend in person, the Meso Foundation will host a live stream of several sessions of the conference.
The Simmons Firm is proud to be a sponsor of the 2013 Meso Foundation Symposium, and urges all individuals who can’t travel but are interested in the event to view the live stream online. This live stream will feature portions of the conference agenda, including topics on:
- Genetics and mesothelioma
- Support panels for mesothelioma patients, caregivers and those who lost a loved one
- Legislative updates
- Details on research, new drugs, and clinical trials
- Fundraising information
- And more
The full live stream will be available for viewing here on March 7 and 8. While watching the conference through the live stream, viewers will also be able to participate in a live chat, discussing the topics and details with other viewers and members of the Meso Foundation staff.
The Meso Foundation staff will also be live tweeting throughout the event, so join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #curemeso.Comments (0)
Six Steps to Fundraise for Mesothelioma Research
In 2007, St. Louis resident Shelly Kozicki was the first person to start a named grant through the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in honor of her husband Craig who was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
In 2009, Craig passed away, but Shelly has continued the fight for both of them. This year she surpassed raising more than $250,000 for research during her Quartermania Fundraiser in October.
During last year’s Mesothelioma Symposium, she and Erica Ruble presented a session entitled, “The Six Steps of Fundraising.”
Shelly told attendees that she took her anger and turned it into action. She hopes her story will motivate others to get involved as well. A summary of the session is outlined below.
Step 1 | Pick an Event Type
Pick an event that corresponds to the amount of time and work you can do. Writing a letter campaign and seeking donations from family and friends is much less time consuming than organizing a golf tournament or triva night.
Step 2 | Organize the Logistics
Pick your date, avoiding busy holidays, and set a budget. Remember you have to spend money to make money.
Step 3 | Choose a Venue
Location is a key factor. Is it easily accessible for everyone who you want to invite? Should you rent a hall or hold it in your home? Don’t forget about getting a venue contract and any other permits you might need.
Step 4 | Ask for Support
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family. Ask them to volunteer. Ask the Meso Foundation for help in organizing. You’ll be surprised to find how much people do want to help. However, the sooner you ask for help in the process, the easier things will be.
Step 5 | Include a Money-Maker
A money-maker is a feature within your event that raises additional funds to benefit your charity. Examples include selling 50/50 raffle, hosting a silent auction, organizing a live auction, getting people to donate baskets to sell, making jello shots or having a drawing for a big ticket item.
Step 6 | Say Thank You
Thank everyone who donated time, money or resources. Thanking businesses who sponsored your event will make future requests easier. Also, don’t forget to share your success story!
Shelly and Erica’s session was so popular last year, symposium organizers asked them back. They will again present on Fundraising during the 2013 Mesothelioma Symposium from 3 to 4 p.m. PST, Friday, March 8 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas. If you can’t make it, don’t worry. This is one of the sessions that will be streamed live online.Click here to listen to Shelly and Erica’s session on Fundraising beginning at 3 p.m. EST on Friday, March 8. Comments (0)
Have you been affected by asbestos exposure and are now dealing with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis? Do you have a friend or family member who is fighting this illness or has fallen victim to an asbestos-related disease? You are not alone.
Thousands of people are impacted by diseases related to asbestos exposure, and every story matters. By sharing your experience of how you or someone you love has been affected by asbestos exposure, you can join together with other people like you to find strength, hope and comfort within this heartbreaking situation.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization strives to raise awareness on the risks of asbestos exposure and the diseases linked to it. ADAO prides itself as the “voice of the victims” and provides a place of camaraderie for mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease patients, friends and family to come together to support the cause and each other.
One way ADAO strives to support people impacted by asbestos is through encouraging individuals to “Share Your Story.”
It is easy to participate in “Share Your Story.” Just visit the ADAO website, click on “Share Your Story” and answer the question “How has asbestos changed your life” and submit a photo of yourself.
However, to protect your privacy and any legal actions you may have pending, please remember not to share any confidential information. If you’re uncertain about what is safe to share, just ask. We suggest you not include your last name, birth date or other identifying information.
ADAO has already collected over fifty stories from patients, their spouses and families. Now, the organization is moving beyond the online stories with plans to compile those stories into a book entitled, "Shared Stories: How Asbestos Changed Our Lives."
Everyone who submits their story by March 1 will be included in the book which will be distributed during the upcoming ADAO conference March 22-24. The book will also be available online at a later date.
By submitting your mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease story on the ADAO website, you can join the community and contribute to raising asbestos exposure awareness. Simply visit the ADAO site and fill out the form to share your story with other people like you. If you would like to read the stories of others, browse through a collection of published “Share Your Story” features here.
To learn more about ADAO and its upcoming conference titled “The Asbestos Crisis: New Trends in Prevention and Treatment,” view our previous blog post that discusses details on the conference agenda and how to register. The Simmons Firm is proud to be the longest consecutive supporter of ADAO and a platinum sponsor of the event.Comments (0)
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