Today marks the beginning of our series of Miles for Meso Spotlights. Every week between now and race day on Sept. 26, the Simmons Hanly Conroy blog will feature a story from past Alton races.
This week spotlights the stories of Jordan Zevon and Linda Reinstein, who will attend this year’s race on behalf of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). In 2014, the Alton race also benefited ADAO and raised a record-breaking amount of $30,000. This year’s race will again benefit the charity.
ADAO National Spokesperson, Jordan Zevon, learned about mesothelioma like many other patients and families: when his father Warren Zevon was diagnosed in 2002. Growing up, Jordan was close with his rock star father, a relationship that continued into adulthood. After Warren was diagnosed and given approximately three months to live, he started working on his last album, The Wind. Jordan served as his executive producer. Over the following months, father and son worked tirelessly on the album.
“I really tried to be there, and spend a lot of time with him,” Jordan said in an interview with ADAO. “…We were both scared.”
Warren lived to see the release of the album in September 2003. Two weeks later, he passed away. In 2004, he posthumously won Grammy Awards Best Contemporary Folk Album for The Wind and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for Disorder in the House.
After Warren’s death, Jordan dedicated much of his time to keeping his father’s legacy alive. He worked with many of his father’s friends to co-produce a tribute album, he accepted Grammy Awards on his father’s behalf, and he even followed in his dad’s footsteps by making music of his own.
Jordan was contacted by Linda and Alan Reinstein, who asked him to be the national spokesperson for the organization. Having been thrilled to be asked, Jordan accepted with the hopes of helping to ensure that others would not have to go through the pain of losing a loved one.
“The deadly mineral has a name, asbestos, but it also has a face in the patients, family and friends that it claims as victims,” Jordan said when discussing his father’s diagnosis.
Linda Reinstein co-founded ADAO in 2004 after her husband Alan was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2003. She knew thousands of others were going through what she and her family were experiencing and believed something needed to be done to help.
After almost three years of battling mesothelioma and undergoing numerous radical surgeries and chemotherapy, Alan passed away in May 2006. He left Linda and their young daughter behind.
“I want him back,” Linda said when sharing her husband’s story with ADAO members, “He was my soulmate and my daughter’s father, but resurrection is not an option.”
Linda experienced first-hand the pain of losing a loved one to mesothelioma and has since dedicated herself to making a difference so that someday others won’t have to suffer as a result of this preventable, man-made cancer.
Before Alan’s death, he held the position of President at ADAO. After, Linda stepped in and now serves as President and CEO of ADAO. She and Co-founder Doug Larkin spend time working with Congress to raise awareness to prevent asbestos exposure, protect public health, and on national and international educational campaigns. As ADAO says, “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.”
Show your support by attending this year’s Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk.