September is here — and that means National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is right around the corner. On Sept. 26, 2021, the United States will honor the thousands of individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Each year, roughly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Symptoms of the disease typically start to occur 10 to 50 years after exposure. While there are several treatment options available, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, the disease still has a high mortality rate because it is not usually discovered until late stages when tumors have spread throughout the body.
Given these factors, a mesothelioma diagnosis often comes as a terrible shock, and the reverberations are felt throughout entire families and loved ones.
That’s why National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is a vitally important awareness effort — one that spreads knowledge and supports individuals and families who are fighting back against this tragic illness.
Here are some ways that you can become a part of this year’s effort.
How You Can Get Involved in This Year’s Mesothelioma Awareness Day
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and its community members originally established Mesothelioma Awareness Day in 2004. Now the 18th year is upon us and the widespread awareness of mesothelioma continues to grow year after year.
To get involved on National Mesothelioma Awareness Day this year, consider doing any of the following:
- Paint the world in mesothelioma blue by:
- Taking photos of you, your friends, family and colleagues wearing blue, the official color of the awareness effort
- Sharing those photos to social media to raise awareness, using the hashtag #curemeso
- Register for the Miles for Meso 5K Race and 3K Fun Run/Walk
- Share social media posts from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Update your Facebook profile picture with Miles for Meso’s frame
- Contact your local government to get a Mesothelioma Awareness Day proclamation
- Use the Mesothelioma Foundation’s how-to guide for more information.
- Contact your local newspaper and/or news station and request a story to be run on Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Visit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s website for more great ideas!
Similar to the Mesothelioma Foundation, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) plays a crucial role in the ongoing fight against asbestos and the diseases it causes by leading advocacy efforts, organizing Congressional briefings and organizing events that the mesothelioma community can join and rally behind.
This year, one such event was the ADAO’s 16th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Virtual Conference, which was held on the weekend of Sept. 17-18.
ADAO Holds Virtual Conference
Each year, the ADAO brings together medical experts, mesothelioma warriors, trade union leaders, lawmakers and activists to participate in its annual conference. Since 2005, the event has hosted more than 300 speakers from over 20 different countries.
The organization stands at the forefront of the ban-asbestos movement in the United States. You can aid their cause by signing their Ban Asbestos Now petition, which is nearly at its goal of obtaining 150,000 signatures.
At this year’s International Asbestos Awareness & Prevention Conference, ADAO hosted an “Art, Advocacy, and Shared Stories” film festival, which was held on the first day of the two-day conference, Sept. 17. Day two of the conference included an academic conference and an awards ceremony.
Simmons Hanly Conroy is honored to be the longest consecutive platinum sponsor of the conference, having now donated a cumulative total of more than $1 million over the past decade.
For more information about the conference, please visit the ADAO conference website here.
Miles for Meso Race Coming Up!
In addition to getting involved in the advocacy efforts noted above, you can support ADAO’s important work by signing up to participate in this year’s virtual Alton Miles for Meso race.
For the eighth year in a row, proceeds from the event will benefit ADAO. Last year’s race raised more than $30,000 for ADAO. In total, the race has brought $180,000 to the charitable organization over the last several years.
Registration for the virtual event on Sept. 25 is currently open. Wear your shirt on race day and connect with others on social media by using the hashtag #MilesforMeso.
Learn more at www.milesformeso.org/register.com.