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Archive for the ‘Mesothelioma’ Category

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Faces of Mesothelioma: LaTanyta Manuel’s Story


“They did a lot of testing and they did a biopsy – they found out it was mesothelioma.”

One afternoon, LaTanyta Manuel’s husband Andrew became ill. LaTanyta arrived home to find Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at her home tending to her husband. Soon after, doctors performed tests and officially diagnosed Andrew with pleural mesothelioma. It was 2002.

Exposure to Asbestos

Andrew Manuel was first exposed to asbestos as a child living in New Orleans. His father worked as a pipeline distributor and Andrew would often play on the pipes with his brother. The two boys would also play with the asbestos that sat behind their home, much like children play in sand.

Andrew’s Mesothelioma Battle

When Andrew was first diagnosed with mesothelioma, he was told there was no cure. Both Andrew and LaTanyta were determined to do whatever they could, so Andrew underwent a series of surgeries and chemotherapies.

During all of this, Andrew and LaTanyta sat down to talk about the idea of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. At first, LaTanyta wasn’t interested.

“The only thing I wanted was for my husband to be healed,” she said.

Andrew told her that since there was no cure, he wanted the best possible for his family. From that moment on, Andrew decided to pursue the mesothelioma lawsuit with the attorneys at the Simmons Firm by his side.

Sadly, Andrew lost his battle with mesothelioma in January, 2004.

While filing a lawsuit with the Simmons Firm could not cure Andrew, the settlement allowed LaTanyta and her three children to live comfortably after Andrew’s passing. It gave LaTanyta the motivation to join the fight against mesothelioma. She served multiple years on the Board of Directors of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and organized a dinner auction that raised nearly $10,000 for mesothelioma research in 2013.

“When I needed [the Simmons Firm], they were there. When I need them even now, they’re still there,” LaTanyta said.

Watch the video below to see more of LaTanyta’s story, or contact us today for information on how to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: March 2014


At the Simmons Firm, our mesothelioma lawyers are committed to providing you with the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news to keep you up to date. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from throughout the United States and the world.

  • Novel cancer vaccine may benefit meso patients.Novel Cancer Vaccine Holds Promise Against Certain Cancers Including Mesothelioma
    Researchers are looking to a new approach to cancer immunotherapy for a new and cost-effective weapon against some of the most deadly tumors, including ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and pancreatic cancer. Immunotherapy is designed to induce the immune system to attack cancer cells.
  • Asbestos Poisoning Victims Want Yale Honor Revoked
    Many victims of asbestos exposure in Italy are joining together to urge Yale University to revoke an honorary degree given to Stephan Schmidheiny, former owner of Swiss construction company Eternit. After receiving the honorary degree in 1996, Schmidheiny was later convicted of negligence in approximately 2,000 asbestos-related deaths.
  • Former SMU Student Sentenced to Federal Prison for Exposing Day Laborers to Asbestos
    A former student of Southern Methodist University in Texas will spend a year in federal prison for violating the Clean Air Act and exposing workers to asbestos. The man hired two day laborers to remove asbestos from a building his father’s company owned.

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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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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: February 2014


The mesothelioma lawyers at the Simmons Law Firm are dedicated to keeping you updated on the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news headlines covering the dangers of asbestos exposure, along with new information about mesothelioma research from throughout the United States and the world.

  • Read mesotheliomat newsBiomass cited by EPA for handling of asbestos in Ohio
    Biomass has been cited by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the improper handling of asbestos at one of its buildings. During former inspections, the EPA discovered the company wasn’t properly disposing of asbestos-containing materials and was dumping the materials in an open-air container.
  • Revolutionary Toronto cancer treatment gives asbestos victims new life
    Two doctors in Toronto have teamed up to develop a new treatment technique that has doubled survival times in patients with mesothelioma. Their research was published last month and drew attention from around the world. According to the doctors, Mayo Clinic will soon attempt to use their treatment method.
  • Health program for asbestos victims expanded
    A pilot program that offers home assistance, mileage reimbursements for medical travel and other services to victims of asbestos exposure has been expanded to cover 18 additional counties in Montana, Idaho and Washington state. When it was established under the Affordable Care Act, the program was originally only available to people in Lincoln and Flathead counties.

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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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