Miles for Meso Spotlight: Celebrating the Life of Mesothelioma Warrior Burlene Jones


This September, show support for a loved one who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma by participating in the 15th Annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race & 3K Fun Run/Walk.

Each year, our mesothelioma law firm hosts a local race as well as a virtual race nationwide to help raise awareness and generate funding for mesothelioma research.

To coincide with National Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2023, this year’s in-person and virtual race will take place on September 23, 2023. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

Register for the Race

This Miles for Meso Spotlight celebrates the life of Burlene Jones, a Simmons Hanly Conroy mesothelioma client whose life was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Burlene Jones: Matriarch with Mesothelioma

For nearly 40 years of their 60-year marriage, Burlene and her husband Sherman were repeatedly exposed to asbestos.

Throughout Burlene’s marriage to Sherman, her husband held multiple jobs that required him to handle asbestos almost every day. Most notably was his 40-year career at Union Electric, which involved regular contact with asbestos-containing materials like ceiling tiles, circuit breakers and electrical tape.

Unfortunately, Sherman’s employers failed to warn him about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and he never received special gear or equipment to protect him from contamination.

After a long day, Sherman would return home in his work clothes, which were contaminated with asbestos dust. While washing her family’s laundry, Burlene was also unknowingly inhaling the deadly fibers that cause mesothelioma.

In October 2011, doctors discovered that Burlene had malignant pleural mesothelioma — an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure — during a hospital visit prompted by shortness of breath. She was told she had only one year to live.

The months following Burlene’s diagnosis proved uncertain and grim, as her chemotherapy treatments began to take a toll on her aging body and forced her to miss out on family, community and social events.

The Talented Mrs. Jones

Throughout her life, Burlene enjoyed taking part in various activities and sharing her talents with those around her.

At a time when many women weren’t employed, Burlene worked as a talented and beloved secretary in her office. At home, she was a devoted mother to her three children: Sheryl, Debbie and Steve.

In her spiritual community, Burlene taught Sunday school, mentored fellow parishioners, played the piano and organ during services, and directed and sang in the church choir. She also performed in a jazz band.

When Burlene and Sherman retired, they frequently traveled to Florida with their family members. After her mesothelioma diagnosis, Burlene was rarely able to enjoy the life she had once lived.

The Cost of Cancer Treatment

Witnessing their mother’s fight against mesothelioma was already devastating to Burlene’s children. However, a new burden soon began to plague the family: financial hardship. 

The expenses associated with Burlene’s specialized care were too demanding for the family, whose out-of-pocket contributions would soon be exhausted.

Based on a referral from a friend, the Jones family decided to contact Simmons Hanly Conroy, a mesothelioma law firm that could fight on their behalf and secure a mesothelioma settlement to cover some of these costs. And that’s exactly what happened.

As soon as the family received the mesothelioma compensation, they were able to afford higher-quality health care services for their mother toward the end of her life.

Gone But Never Forgotten

On August 9, 2012, less than a year after her diagnosis, Burlene lost her battle with mesothelioma. She was 82, and had just celebrated her 63rd wedding anniversary with Sherman in March of that year.

For over a decade, the Jones family has maintained contact with the asbestos lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy and participated in the Miles for Meso race. The family enjoys the annual event as a way to spend time with loved ones while honoring their mother’s memory and helping new patients in need.

“I would like to see people be more supportive of this race just to help educate themselves and their friends. This is an incurable disease, and there’s not enough information out there,” explained Burlene’s daughter Sheryl. “It’s great to help raise awareness and some extra money for research.”

Support Mesothelioma Victims & Their Families

Burlene’s family continues to fight for victims of mesothelioma and remember the joy she brought to all of their lives.

To show your support for the individuals and families who have been impacted by mesothelioma, consider participating in Miles for Meso either in person or virtually.

Participants can register for the race:

  • Until August 25 for $35
  • Until September 8 for $40
  • Until September 17 for $45

For your support, you will receive a free swag bag that includes a Miles for Meso shirt and other special items. All registration proceeds from the Alton race will benefit the ADAO.

On the day of the race, you can also share a picture of yourself running or walking with the hashtag #MilesForMeso on social media to help spread awareness in honor of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

Join all of us at Simmons Hanly Conroy in honoring the legacy of Burlene and the many others who lost their lives to mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 326-8900 or get a free legal consultation now to learn more.

Simmons Support Team
Simmons Hanly ConroyWritten by:

Editorial Team

The Simmons Hanly Conroy Editorial Team consists of journalists, writers and editors who strive to deliver accurate and useful information to families needing legal help. Our team works alongside the firm's attorneys and partners, as well as with medical professionals and other specialists, to keep all information relevant and helpful.