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Miles for Meso Race to Take Place September 21, 2013

Early registration is now open for the Alton, Illinois Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk. The race will begin at Simmons Hanly Conroy Building at One Court Street on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8:30 a.m. It will be hosted by the Firm and is coordinated by the Metro TriClub.

Miles for Meso races have been held in Illinois, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Florida. Funds raised over the past four years have exceeded a total of $300,000 and have been donated to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. The race is a fun, active, educational event for people of all ages and athletic abilities.

The Alton race is considered to be the flagship event for Miles for Meso. The past Alton races alone have raised $100,000 for mesothelioma research. In 2011, organizers expanded the Alton race to elite runners from around the world. They also increased the total prize money awarded to these elite runners. Doing this attracted Olympic-caliber runners who travel to Alton to compete.

“It is our goal to continue to use the Alton race as springboard for other races around the country,” said Mike Wever, Alton Race Director and president of the Metro Tri Club, on the Miles for Meso website.

The Miles for Meso race not only raises essential funds for mesothelioma research, but also promotes awareness of the deadly cancer. Mesothelioma is one of the lowest-funded cancers by the National Cancer Institute, yet more than 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with it every year. Raising funds and awareness for mesothelioma through events like Miles for Meso aid in the efforts to find a cure for this terminal disease.

Get Involved in Miles for Meso 2013

You don’t have to be an elite runner to participate in the Miles for Meso event. This event is for people of all ages. Early registration costs $25 through August 31. After that date, registration costs are $30. If you register on the day of the race, it will cost $35.

Everyone who registers for the 2013 Miles for Meso race will receive a long-sleeved T-shirt commemorating this year’s five year anniversary of the start of Miles for Meso.

Learn more about Miles for Meso including how to register, race times and more other information now.

To learn more about the 2012 Miles for Meso race, watch the video below.

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Meso Foundation Awards $100,000 to Five Mesothelioma Research Projects

I’m pleased to share that the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation recently announced funding for five mesothelioma research grants.

Having seen first-hand the deadly impact this disease can have on patients and their families, my colleagues and I understand the critical need for research dollars for mesothelioma. Thanks to the work of the Meso Foundation that need is being fulfilled, but not fast enough. Every year 3,000 new Americans are newly diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

A cure can’t come quick enough.

The foundation awards funding based on a rigorous peer-reviewed process. This means that all projects are reviewed and ranked by the members of the organization’s Science Advisory Board. The five were selected from a pool of 42 applicants.

This year’s projects include:

  • A study attempting to combine all genomic data of ten different pleural mesothelioma tumors and discover which genes are truly meaningful in disease treatment.
  • A study investigating how important proteins in the immune system are involved in regulating the response of mesothelioma cells to chemotherapy.
  • A study of WT1 peptide/MHS complexes and their use as a possible antigen that would help the immune system detect and kill mesothelioma cells.
  • A review of three experiments of BAP1 to character how the loss of BAP1 may cause mesothelioma to become more vulnerable to targeted therapy approaches.
  • A project to identify and validate miRNAs as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets diffuse in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

The five new grants bring the total number of grants funded by the Meso Foundation to 76 for a cumulative total of $7.6 million in funding. As the Meso Foundations highest cumulative donor, the Firm has been a proud supporter of the foundation since it started more than ten years ago. However, until a meso cure is found, more support is needed. No one deserves to suffer through a mesothelioma diagnosis.

For more information on these grants and more visit the Foundation’s website.

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Simmons Hanly Conroy’s Miles for Meso 5K Coming this Weekend

We’re having a busy week here at the firm getting ready for our annual Miles for Meso 5K race, which is happening this Saturday.

This year we’ve increased the prize money for the race to more than $6,000. That’s the largest 5K race purse in the Midwest. And it’s gotten a lot of attention. As of yesterday we have over 500 people registered to attend, including about 30 elite runners.

If you’re not planning on attending, but live in the Alton area, I would encourage you to come out and watch. The elite runners, who’ve come from all over the country and even Kenya, should make for an exciting event to watch. Here’s the Alton course map, if you’re interested.

The firm held the first Miles for Meso race in 2009 as a way to celebrate Mesothelioma Awareness Day and raise awareness about mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Cumulatively the Alton race has fundraised over $50,000 for mesothelioma research. 

Huge thanks go to our Platinum sponsor STL Communications and our Gold Sponsors Clover Leaf Bank and Jenner & Block. (See the complete list over at the Miles for Meso sponsorship page.)

2011 Alton Miles for Meso Press Release

Alton Telegraph Article about Miles for Meso

If you still haven’t signed up to attend, registration will be open 7:30-8:45 a.m. on Saturday before the race at our new building, One Court St., in Alton. To learn more, visit the Alton Race page on the Miles for Meso web site.

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Fundraising Benefits Like Miles for Meso Are Important to Finding a Cure

The amount of research dollars for orphan diseases like mesothelioma is scarce. This is why benefit races like Miles for Meso, Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation initiative, are so vital to the effort of finding a cure.

This Sunday, Simmons Hanly Conroy will sponsor the first Miles for Meso of 2011 in Boca Raton, Florida. It’s organized by meso survivor and advocate Larry Davis. Four years ago, Larry was told he had six months to live. Larry believes he’s winning his battle against mesothelioma because of his willingness to think outside the box when it came to his treatment options and his love of running.

Larry Dr AlexanderNow, four years years later, Larry has run multiple marathons and hosted several events to promote mesothelioma awareness. For this year’s South Florida race, he’s recruited his physician, Dr. Richard Alexander, a mesothelioma clinical researcher from the University of Maryland Medical Center, to speak the night before the event about his research and the importance of fundraising events like Miles for Meso.

“This type of support is going to be increasingly important,” he told a reporter with the Sun Sentential. “The competition for research dollars is fierce these days.

According to the article, fewer than 10 percent of the research projects submitted to the National Institutes of Health receive federal funding. Less than one percent of the funded projects benefit mesothelioma or lung cancer projects.

Thanks to efforts by nonprofits like the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation, alternative funding is available for medical experts who are working toward finding a cure.

Visit Miles for Meso website to learn more about how you can organize your own race and start making a difference in the fight against mesothelioma today.

Watch the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s video about Miles for Meso

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Looking Back, Moving Forward

For me, December and the holiday season has always been a time to reflect on the past year. A time to remember the challenges we’ve overcome; the projects we’ve spearheaded; and the goals we’ve achieved. Below I’ve compiled highlights from 2010.

Throughout the year, our attorneys continued to fight on behalf of victims of SCI_photo2-4webmesothelioma and their families. This summer, we secured a favorable appeal in Simpkins v. CSX Transportation for all Illinois families impacted by a mesothelioma diagnosis. The Appellate Court of Illinois ruled that employers do have a duty to inform their employees’ family members about the dangers of take home asbestos exposure. The ruling established an important precedent for mesothelioma victims and their families.

The firm’s success did not stop with our mesothelioma practice. This spring the commercial litigation department secured a $32 million dollar settlement in an antitrust lawsuit. Then throughout the year, the intellectual property department secured two preliminary injunctions in separate cases, including one involving camouflage sports apparel and vampire welding helmets. This year once again proved that partnering with clients, instead of billing exorbitant hourly rates, gets better results, faster.

Our pharmaceutical litigation department gained momentum early on in 2010 by attaining leadership roles in the Yaz and Chantix cases, both examples of high-visibility litigation the firm has handled over the years. I expect momentum to only increase as our phrama team continues to advocate for consumer rights and investigate drugs pulled from the market by the Food & Drug Administration through 2011.

Meso20Foundation-60_thumb_500The mesothelioma community made great strides in 2010 by ramping up efforts to improve awareness of mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos. We were pleased to celebrate several victories with our friends at the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. In April, the U.S. senate passed a resolution declaring the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. Then, in November, after many months of hard work educating congressional leaders about the need for more awareness about mesothelioma, the U.S. House passed a resolution making Sept. 26, National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The mesothelioma community has also moved into the social media world. You can now fan the Simmons firm, Miles for Meso, Ban Asbestos Now! and ADAO & MARF on Facebook.

In 2010, the firm tripled our own ongoing efforts to promote awareness of mesothelioma by becoming the national sponsor of Miles for Meso, starting the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation, and celebrating the opening of the Simmons Cancer Institute.

The firm’s non-profit endeavors did much during 2010 to help our community and cancer patients across the county. The Foundation formed critical partnerships with leading medical mesothelioma experts throughout the country, which provides mesothelioma patients with cutting-edge treatment options regardlessM4M1of where they’re located in the United States. In addition, the firm hosted the Second Annual Alton 5K Miles for Meso Run & Walk, and sponsored additional Miles for Meso races in Florida, Indiana and Virginia. The three races combined raised approximately $40,000 for mesothelioma research and drew just under 1,000 participants.

I’m also proud of the work our employees, through the Simmons Employee Foundation, have done this year to improve life in our local community. This spring, they hosted their 4th Annual Dinner Auction, which raised more than $200,000 for two area charities. Then this fall, the employee’s annual golf tournament raised just over $15,000 for two other local charities. These two events, while the most visible, represent only a portion of the work and donations the firm’s employees contributed to their communities throughout this economically difficult year.

Looking back, the firm has had a very busy 2010. Yet, looking forward, life at building-800x600the firm is going to get even busier. If you haven’t heard, the firm is relocating its headquarters to Alton, Illinois. Since the summer we’ve been renovating the old Jefferson Smurfit building in downtown Alton. It’s a beautiful location surrounded by historic brick streets and stunning views of the Clark Bridge and Mississippi River.

As we literally move into 2011 and into our new building, we’ll continue to fight for the rights of
patients and their families. We’ll work to raise awareness about mesothelioma, generate funds for mesothelioma research, and call for legislation banning the use of asbestos. We are grateful for 2010 and look forward to the challenges of the coming year.

Have a safe and happy holiday, and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

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