On Sept. 21, 2013, the Firm sponsored the fifth annual Miles for Meso 5k in Alton, Ill in honor of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26. More than 800 people participated in the fun run/walk which also included a record-breaking elite race and an adoption event by Hope Rescues. Country band Five & Dimers and Gateway DJ Mike Roper performed during the event to keep racers motivated.
Participants in the race included family and friends of loved ones with mesothelioma, survivors, and other advocates. Many families formed teams to support a loved one who had been diagnosed or to honor a loved one who had fallen victim to the disease.
The elite runners entertained the crowd as they competed in a separate 5k race. To be considered “elite”, runners had to have a 5k time of less than 15 minutes for men and 18 minutes for women.
The winner of the elite competition was Kenyan and University of Arizona student Stephen Sambu, who crossed the finish line in 13:22 and broke the previous Miles for Meso record of 13:48. The first female elite runner to cross the finish line was Ethiopian Konjit Biruk with a time of 16:04.
Lebanon High School teacher Titus Tirop, 30, was the overall male championship 5k winner with a time of 17:39. The overall female championship winner was 31-year-old Jackie Hall with a time of 18:17. Hall is a member of the Runnababez Elite.
The adoption event by Hope Rescues was also a major success. Monte, a beagle, and Laney, a Jack Russell-Boston Terrier mix, were rescued by Hope Rescues just one day before they were to be euthanized. Both dogs found forever homes when they were adopted by separate families at the Miles for Meso event.
“It’s been very successful today,” said Jackie Spiker, co-founder of the no-kill animal rescue, in a Telegraph article. “A lot of people picked up information and I sent five families to Petco in Edwardsville where we’re having another adoption event.”
Following the races, the Firm presented a $25,000 check to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, an organization that funds peer-reviewed research in prevention, early detection and treatment development for mesothelioma. Money raised comes from a combination of registration fees, personal donations and sponsorships.
Across the country, Miles for Meso events have raised about $360,000. All proceeds have benefitted the Meso Foundation.