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Simmons Firm Congratulates 2014 Asbestos Awareness Conference Award Winners


The 10th annual ADAO International Asbestos Awareness Conference is scheduled from April 4 to 6, 2014. The conference will feature more than 30 prominent experts and asbestos victims from around the world who will present the latest medical advancements pertaining to mesothelioma treatment, disease prevention and global advocacy.

At the conference, ADAO will honor a select group of individuals, who include:

  • Congressman Henry Waxman, recipient of the Tribute of Hope Award for his constant commitment to public health and safety.
  • Dr. David Egilman, posthumous recipient of the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award honoring his dedication to increasing asbestos awareness and advocacy for asbestos-related diseases.
  • Bill Ravanesi, recipient of the Tribute of Inspiration Award for his efforts to protect workers’ rights and pursue justice for asbestos victims and their loved ones.
  • Jannelle Bedel, recipient of the Alan Reinstein Award for her dedication to mesothelioma education, advocacy and support before losing her battle with mesothelioma in 2013.
  • Lou Williams, recipient of the Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to mesothelioma education, support and advocacy to numerous mesothelioma patients.
  • Heather Von St. James, recipient of the Alan Reinstein Award for her dedication to mesothelioma education, advocacy and support.
  • Dr. Ken Takahashi, recipient of the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to raising asbestos awareness, eradicating disease and supporting ADAO.
  • Congressman Bruce Vento, posthumous recipient of the Warren Zevon “Keep Me in Your Heart” Memorial Tribute for her many years of service as a legislator and public advocate.
  • National Association for the Defense of Asbestos Victims (Andeva), recipient of the Tribute of Unity Award for its national and international efforts to protect public health and ban asbestos.

The Simmons Firm would like to congratulate all of the above honorees for their dedication to mesothelioma and asbestos awareness. The effort to end mesothelioma and asbestos exposure takes commitment from countless individuals like those listed above, and along with patients and victims of mesothelioma, we thank you.

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Simmons Firm Supports 2014 International Mesothelioma Symposium


The Simmons Firm is pleased to announce that it has renewed its support of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation with a $25,000 donation to support the 2014 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma.

2014 International Mesothelioma SymposiumOver the past ten years, the Meso Foundation has awarded more than $8.2 million to top medical researchers who are developing ground-breaking treatment options for mesothelioma patients. Having donated more than $2 million over the years, the Simmons Firm remains among the foundation’s leading supporters.

Set to take place March 5 to 7, the 2014 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma is open to all mesothelioma patients, families, advocates, medical professionals and others who have lost a loved one to the rare cancer. The mesothelioma symposium is held by the Meso Foundation and is in its 11th year.

The event kicks off March 5 with Advocacy Day, which will feature presentations by government experts to prepare for meetings on Capitol Hill with elected officials. The purpose is to help educate government experts and to advocate for increased federal funding for mesothelioma.

March 6 and 7 will feature scientific panels and community conversations covering a variety of topics. Such sessions will cover:

  • Newly bereaved discussion group
  • Cancer stem cells: Achilles’ heel of tumors
  • Post-surgical recovery
  • The healing arts
  • All things abdominal
  • Pulmonary health
  • Exercise: walking for health
  • Radiation oncology
  • Chemotherapy
  • Nutrition
  • Early detection
  • And more

On March 6, a ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony will take place to honor all loved ones lost to this devastating disease.

Agendas for March 6 and 7 also feature special community dinners where award recipients will be honored. The Meso Fighters Band, which is composed of individuals affected by mesothelioma, will perform on the evening of March 7.

The mesothelioma symposium will be held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center at 5000 Seminary Rd. in Alexandria, VA. For those who cannot attend the even in person, there will be a live streaming of the entire event online.

Learn more about the 2014 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma now.

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‘Rare Disease Day’ Event to be Broadcast Online on Feb. 28


More than 6,500 rare diseases affect about 25 million Americans. The NIH’s seventh annual celebration of Rare Disease Day strives to raise awareness about these diseases through a public, free event to be held on Feb. 28.

The rare disease research community will offer various tours, presentations, posters and exhibits highlighting the challenges among people with rare diseases. Heavy emphasis will be placed on research and collaboration activities that have led to progress in diagnostics and treatments.

Topics on the agenda include:

  • Medical devices for rare diseases
  • Using advanced imaging techniques for insights into rare genetic heart disease
  • Establishment of an Undiagnosed Diseases Network

The ‘Rare Disease Day’ event will take place Feb. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the NIH Clinical Center (Building 10), Masur Auditorium in Bethesda, MD. The event will also be broadcast online for those who are not able to attend in person.

In conjunction with the NIH Clinical Center, the event is presented by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ (NCATS) Office of Rare Diseases Research. It will feature several speakers, including Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), co-chair of the Rare Disease Caucus; NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D; NCATS Director Christopher P. Audstin, M.D.; and NIH Clinical Center Director John I. Gallin, M.D.

Mesothelioma as a Rare Disease

Approximately 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare disease caused by asbestos exposure, every year. This rare form of lung cancer occurs most often in the thin membrane lining the lungs, chest and abdomen. The disease attacks the membranes (mesothelium) that surround and protect vital organs. Mesothelioma cancer cells are known to spread quickly and therefore the disease is often fatal.

Learn more about mesothelioma from the experienced lawyers at the Simmons Firm. If you would like to view the webcast of the Rare Disease Day event, click here.

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U.S. Senate Passes Tenth Annual Resolution to Designate ‘National Asbestos Awareness Week’


The Simmons Firm would like to personally thank Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and cosponsors for passing the tenth annual resolution establishing April 1 to 7 as “National Asbestos Awareness Week.” Senate Resolution 336 was passed on Jan. 16.

Since 2005, National Asbestos Awareness Week has taken place the first week of April as a designated time to raise public awareness about the dangers and prevalence of asbestos exposure. While asbestos use in the U.S. is regulated, it is not fully banned, and many people are unaware of its link to life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.

More than 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. This fatal cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which, when disturbed and released into the air, can be toxic. If the fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs and over time cause serious health problems.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a long latency period. It can take 10, 20 or even 30 years after asbestos exposure before symptoms appear. Many times the cancer is fatal and there is no known cure.

Those of us at the Simmons Firm believe in the importance of National Asbestos Awareness Week as a way for the mesothelioma community to join together, share stories and proactively educate the public about the risks of asbestos. A majority of mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos at the workplace through no fault of their own, and Simmons Firm is dedicated to helping these innocent victims stand up for their rights.

During National Asbestos Awareness Week this year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization will hold its Tenth Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference from April 4 to 6. The event will take place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA and will feature more than 30 medical experts and asbestos victims from around the world. Topics to be discussed include the latest medical advancements for asbestos disease prevention, mesothelioma treatment advances and advocacy for a global ban on asbestos.

Additional information about National Asbestos Awareness Week, which runs April 1 to 7, can be found on the ADAO website.

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What to Expect from World Cancer Day 2014


More than 1.6 million new cancer cases and 585,000 cancer deaths are expected to occur in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Cancer kills more than 7.6 million people across the world every year. This devastating disease touches the lives of people of all ages, from babies and children to adults World Cancer Day 2014and seniors.

Feb. 4 is World Cancer Day – a day to inspire hope and encouragement for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. Ultimately, World Cancer Day strives to raise awareness and funds for this fatal disease through events, campaigns and messages.

Even though mesothelioma is considered a rare cancer, it is still a disease that impacts thousands of lives and has no known cure. It is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which often occurs among individuals who are unaware of the exposure or of its health risks. Mesothelioma is also one of the lowest-funded cancers in regards to research, a fact many mesothelioma and asbestos organizations work tirelessly to change.

Participate in World Cancer Day

It’s not too late to get involved in World Cancer Day. Many organizations offer opportunities to get involved with raising cancer awareness and funds. Here are a few:

  • American Cancer Society
    ACS is an organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and providing help to cancer patients. You can get involved by donating online, volunteering, sending an E-card and more.
  • Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
    ADAO gives a voice to individuals affected by asbestos exposure, including those with mesothelioma. This year, ADAO is urging individuals to sign the World Cancer Declaration, which aims to reduce stigma, dispel cancer myths and put more emphasis on cancer prevention and early detection. You can sign the declaration here.
  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
    This national organization funds mesothelioma research projects, helps mesothelioma patients connect with experts and advocates for federal mesothelioma research funding. You can get involved by becoming an advocate, volunteering, or donating to mesothelioma research.
  • World Cancer Day 2014
    There are over 200 events planned for World Cancer Day 2014 with multiple ways to get involved. You can plan your own event and add it to the online map of events and activities, spread the word about World Cancer Day on your social media channels, download and distribute the World Cancer Day Fact sheets, and much more.

Do your part to contribute to World Cancer Day 2014. Learn more about mesothelioma today.

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