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Fighting Mesothelioma Nationwide


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.


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.

Click here to learn more about the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K >>>
Click here to find a race near you >>>

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Miles for Meso Team Georgie Porgie's Meso Patrol Continues the Fight

Miles for mesothelioma dreith story

George Dreith III stood victorious on last year’s stage at the Alton Miles for Meso race. He and his team, the Georgie Porgie Meso Patrol, had won the “Top Fundraising Team” Award.

It was the first year race participants were able to form a team and fundraise leading up to the race. Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol and 17 other teams, plus several individual fundraisers, helped raise an additional $5,000 for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, for a grand total of nearly $30,000 raised.

Top Mesothelioma Fundraising Team

George Dreith III and Sue Tanney, a Simmons Hanly Conroy employee and personal friend of the Dreith Family, accept the 2014 “Top Fundraising Team” Award. Tanney serves at the team captain of the Georgie Porgie Meso Patrol, which is raising funds and awareness in George’s memory for the 2015 race.

“George was overwhelmed by the amount of support that he received,” said his wife Chris about last year’s race.

George shared his story, his fight against mesothelioma that day on the stage while his 65-member team and hundreds of other participants listened. He was born in Wood River, Ill., and grew up in Alton, Ill., in the 1950s and ’60s as a member of a blue collar family. His dad worked as an aviation mechanic, and his mom worked at an Alton dry cleaners.

In April 2014, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, decades ago. Companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products knew about the dangers of asbestos. Instead of sharing their knowledge, they remained silent. Putting profits over people.

Despite the unfairness surrounding the circumstances of his diagnosis, George stayed positive and vowed to enjoy each remaining day of his life, Chris said.

“George relished the everyday moments in life that year: playing numerous rounds of golf with his son Tyler, laying on the couch watching his favorite TV shows, sitting on the screened in back porch of his home, and visiting with friends and family,” she said.

In the November after his diagnosis, he became a “Paw Paw” for the first time to Miles George. A year after his diagnosis, he proudly walked his daughter Alison down the aisle.

Sadly, George lost his battle with mesothelioma on June 12 of this year. He and Chris would have celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary in July. His friends and family remember him for his friendly nature, positive attitude and constant smile. He is sorely missed.

During his illness, George kept a journal in which he put forth this request to his family and friends:

“I ask you all to do two things for me. First, each morning look to the heavens and thank God for another great day on this Earth, and enjoy it with your loved ones and friends. Second, please pass forward the love you have shown me to others. You can’t believe how much it means. Thanks for being my friend.”

His inspiring fight against the cancer will be remembered through this year’s Alton Miles for Meso race on Sept. 26, which is also National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol is proud to participate in another Miles for Meso run this year to raise more money to battle this devastating disease and to honor their friend George H. Dreith III.

You can join their fight by donating to them or any of the other teams.

Click here to donate >>>

Click here to register >>>

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Early Registration for Alton Miles for Meso Ends Aug. 31

MFM 2014 5KRunners

Early registration for the Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk will end in a week. Anyone who wants to take advantage of the early bird rate of $25 should register by next Monday, Aug. 31. After that date, the price increases to $30 through Sept. 22. After Sept. 22, registration will be $35.

The race will take place at the law office of Simmons Hanly Conroy at One Court Street on Saturday, Sept. 26. Registration the day of the race will be available onsite starting at 7:30 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m. All proceeds will benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. MFM 2014 Check Photo

Participants will receive a long-sleeve, moisture-wicking T-shirt and a bag filled with goodies from sponsors.

You don’t have to be a runner to participate in the events. Miles for Meso includes activities for people of all ages. Children will enjoy the Kid’s Zone, which will have face and hair painting, pumpkin painting, an inflatable bounce house, snow cones, various games and more.

Local vendors will be in attendance at the Vendor Fair, which will open at 7:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day’s events. Vendors will include local businesses and organizations.

Free food and beverages will be available throughout the morning for adults and children in attendance.

Attendees will also be able to enjoy a mini-concert performed by Jordan Zevon, National Spokesperson for ADAO. Jordan is the son of Grammy Award winning rock singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, who passed away from mesothelioma in 2003. Jordan followed in his father’s footsteps and will perform a mix of original songs and favorites by his father

Don’t miss out on this year’s fun event and register now!

Click here to register >>>

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Celebrating Meso Heroes Across the Miles


People come from all over to attend the Alton Miles for Meso race to show Ryan Kiwala with David Dsupport for their loved ones.

David Dioguardi and his family made the trip from Chicago to Alton for last year’s race, where his attorney Ryan Kiwala ran in his honor.

When David was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011, he was told that he had four months to live.

“We were shocked and devastated,” David’s daughters wrote in their Share Your Story on ADAO’s website. “We began planning how we would be spending our last few months with him.”

David’s doctors referred him to the University of Chicago Medicine’s Mesothelioma Program. It was there he learned about additional treatment options. David had a radical pleurectomy, a procedure that removed about 90 percent of the tumors from the lining of his lung, and afterward went through chemotherapy.

Four years later, David is still fighting.

Inspired by their dad’s heroic fight against cancer, the Dioguardi family started a charity called the Mesothelioma Heroes Foundation that works to raise awareness about asbestos and fund research for a cure. The family’s “I Know a Superhero Event,” a family fun festival and softball tournament, will take place Aug. 22 in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood of southwest Chicago.

“It’s especially inspiring to see a client who takes his personal experience with mesothelioma and turns it into something so positive, like Dave has done with Mesothelioma Heroes,” said Ryan Kiwala, the Simmons Hanly Conroy attorney who worked on David’s mesothelioma lawsuit.

Attending fundraising events like Miles for Meso and the I Know a Superhero Event are a great way to show support for those impacted by mesothelioma. Join others like the Dioguardi family and register now.

ADAO17 - dugardifamilyClick here to register for the Alton Miles for Meso race >>>

Click here to purchase tickets to the I Know a Superhero Event >>>

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Important Tips for Mesothelioma Caregivers from the Meso Foundation

Mesothelioma is a disease that impacts not just the life of the person diagnosed, but their family and friends’ lives, as well. Mesothelioma caregivers turn into the fundamental source of support and comfort for the patient. However, being a mesothelioma caregiver can be challenging at times, too. These selfless individuals put their own needs behind those of their loved one to provide care – whether that care is physical or emotional or both.

caregiverIt’s important for mesothelioma caregivers to take care of themselves, too. After all, you can only help your loved one if you are first taking care of yourself. Simmons Hanly Conroy regularly works with mesothelioma caregivers to guide and support them through the legal process, and with help from the Meso Foundation, here are a few tips to remember during your challenging journey of helping someone diagnosed with mesothelioma:

Always communicate with your loved one’s doctors.

A mesothelioma diagnosis can mean that a patient is in the care of several doctors. This can make it difficult to maintain good communication among all parties and stay informed about every aspect of your loved one’s care. Another issue is patient confidentiality – a doctor may not be allowed to speak with you about your loved one unless your loved one is present. A signed consent form can help with this challenge, since it will give the doctor permission to talk to you about your loved one’s medical care and options at any time.

The Meso Foundation recommends that all caregivers keep a list of questions about medications, side effects, what the patient can eat or drink, and other medical questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor any questions you may have. If you don’t understand something the doctor has told you, follow up and ask them to explain further. It’s crucial that you have good communication with the doctors so that you can help your loved one with their physical care.

In addition, I recommend that caregivers keep a journal of all doctors’ appointments, hospitalizations and any changes in medications or health status. Keeping this journal will help you organize your thoughts and be better prepared during a doctor visit.

Take care of yourself.

The only way you can be a successful caregiver is if you are first taking care of your own needs. Caregiving is a challenging job that can often lead to stress, loneliness, guilt and frustration. If you are feeling this way, remember that it is not a sign of weakness. Seek support from friends, family and community groups like churches. Remember that it is acceptable to ask for help or to say no once in a while. Stay active with regular exercise and eat balanced meals. If you need to, seek spiritual support or spend some time doing activities that you enjoy, like journaling, reading, meditating, or being in nature. You don’t have to suffer through negative feelings or circumstances – improve your own well-being and you will also be helping your loved one with mesothelioma.

Take comfort in others like you.

There are thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma every year – that means there are also thousands of caregivers like you. Connecting with them is easier than you might think. The Meso Foundation offers a program called Meso-Connect, which helps identify and connect you with other members of the mesothelioma community. It’s an easy way to talk to others who have “been there, done that” and are going through the same challenges that you may be facing.

You can learn more about Meso Foundation’s Meso-Connect here.

Ask for help if you need to.

You are one person. You can’t do it all. It’s important to take some time for yourself now and then, and respite care can help you do just that. Respite care is short-term, temporary relief for those who are caring for family members who need professional aid. Basically, it’s a short break from caregiving without sacrificing the well-being of your loved one. A respite care provider can assist with your loved one’s needs for one to two hours per day, or however long you may need. Also, some churches and community groups will provide sitting services to members. This ensures you get the alone time you deserve and/or much needed rest, and your loved one still gets the support they may need.

The above are a few tips that a mesothelioma caregiver should consider as they face the daily challenges of this disease. The mesothelioma lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy regularly work with mesothelioma caregivers to help them navigate the complexities of the litigation process – so we’re here for you. If you have questions or concerns about filling a mesothelioma lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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