One great way to show support for a loved one who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is by registering for the Alton Miles for Meso 5K, which will be held virtually for the second straight year. Racers and supporters interested in participating are invited to register for the virtual race and run or walk from anywhere!
For the 8th consecutive year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) will be accepting submissions of the names of mesothelioma survivors or victims to include on Warrior Race Bibs.
The purpose of submitting a name of a loved one who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is to honor and remember those who have fought against this disease. Like last year, names will be featured on commemorative race bibs that will be shared virtually on Facebook and on the Alton race page at milesformeso.org. A blank Warrior Bib will also be included in the race bags for families to personalize and wear.
For this week’s Miles for Meso Spotlight, we would like to share the story of the brave, selfless, and inspiring Mike Mattmuller, who was a Simmons Hanly Conroy mesothelioma client from Maryland.
Tragically, Mike passed away in spring 2020 after fighting hard against mesothelioma for over eight years, enduring surgery after surgery and dozens of rounds of chemotherapy.
Diagnosed at the young age of 29, Mike and his wife Jessica were shocked by the news that Mike had mesothelioma. Shortly after his diagnosis, Mike underwent an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which is a surgical procedure that involves removing a lung and that lung’s lining, known as the pleura. Mike had his left lung and its lining removed, and — for years — remained stable.
Shortly after surgery, Mike expanded his own fight against mesothelioma to include all of those who were fighting the same disease. He shared his story on the front lines of the asbestos-disease prevention movement, becoming an outspoken patient who personified grit, perseverance and hope for so many in the mesothelioma community.
In 2016, Mike and his wife Jessica welcomed their daughter Riley Jean into the world and knew they would do whatever it took to protect her. Mike and Jess redoubled their efforts to tirelessly fight for an asbestos ban to help prevent others from being affected by asbestos-related diseases. Riley has always been their pride and motivation.
“Why should I have to worry about my newborn baby girl getting mesothelioma?” Mike asked once. “[Asbestos] needs to be banned immediately.”
Throughout his eight-year battle with mesothelioma, Mike presented multiple times to U.S. Congressional members and their staffers, helping to spearhead legislative efforts toward an asbestos ban as an ADAO volunteer.
Mike and Jess took part in the virtual race for several years — even traveling to Alton in 2018 to participate as team captains of the ADAO Mesothelioma Warrior Virtual Team. Mike may no longer be with us, but the legacy he leaves behind will never — ever — be forgotten.
To get involved and show your support for the families who have been impacted by mesothelioma, consider participating in one of the following two ways.
First, you can submit the name of someone who was diagnosed with mesothelioma to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Their name will then be featured on one of the virtual race bibs and available to print as part of the virtual race packet for race day on Sept. 25. The deadline to submit a name is Sept. 1.
Second, you can also register for the virtual Miles for Meso race. Early registration costs $35 through Friday, Aug. 27 and, for your support, you will receive a Miles for Meso race-day shirt to wear on Sept. 25. When the day of the race comes, simply take a picture of yourself running or walking and share it with the hashtag #milesformeso on Facebook to help spread awareness in honor of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
All registration proceeds from the Alton virtual race will benefit the awareness work done by ADAO.