A 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!
The race is set to begin on Sept. 25, the day before National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. For the 8th straight year, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) will be the recipient of all registration fees and donation proceeds raised from the race.
For this week’s Miles for Meso Spotlight, we would like to share the story of the hardworking, loving, and kind George Dreith, who was a Simmons Hanly Conroy mesothelioma client from our hometown of Alton, Illinois.
As the son of an aircraft mechanic, George learned the value of hard work at a young age. Unfortunately, however, as with many laborers in the 1950s and 60s, George’s parents and relatives were exposed to asbestos at their jobs and unknowingly carried asbestos fibers home with them on their clothing. This is how George was first exposed to asbestos. Later in life, George also experienced exposure to asbestos at his jobsite.
Because mesothelioma is a slow-developing disease, it wasn’t until decades later that George started experiencing symptoms. Shortness of breath was the precursor to his pleural mesothelioma diagnosis.
After his diagnosis, George endured many rounds of chemotherapy and continued to fight back against mesothelioma while making the most of his time with his loved ones.
Several months into his treatment, George and his family took part in the 6th Annual Miles for Meso, a run/walk in Alton, which raises awareness and funds for mesothelioma research and awareness. He and his team of 65-strong formed “Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol,” which quickly won top honors for fundraising.
George ultimately lost his battle with mesothelioma in June 2015. A journal entry, shared by his family after his death, offers a glimpse into the quality of George’s character in his own words:
“I ask you all to do two things for me: First, each morning look to the heavens and thank God for another great day on this Earth, and enjoy it with your loved ones and friends; Second, please pass forward the love you have shown me to others. You can’t believe how much it means. Thanks for being my friend.”
George was neither defined by his exposure to asbestos nor the disease it caused. His story lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him and he is sorely missed. His legacy continues to inspire and make a difference each and every year.
Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol still raises awareness and funds for mesothelioma through the Miles for Meso race in Alton. Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol has been the highest fundraiser team for a number of years — a milestone of which George would certainly be proud.
As of Sept. 7, 2021, the top three fundraisers are:
- Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol: $2,072.35
- Captain Bob’s Warriors: $614.93
- Gucci Gavel Gang: $414.28
While George may be gone, his legacy — and the impact he and his loved ones have had on the mesothelioma community — will never be forgotten.
To get involved and show your support for the individuals and families who have been impacted by mesothelioma, please consider participating in one of the following ways.
First, you can register for the virtual Miles for Meso race. Normal registration costs $40 through Sept. 10, and, for your support, you will receive a Miles for Meso race day shirt to wear on Sept. 25. When race day arrives, 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.
Second, if you are unable to join the virtual Miles for Meso race this year, consider donating to support the vital work done by the ADAO. The ADAO is the sole recipient of all proceeds from the race. All donations are tax-deductible.