John’s Story

Throughout his lifetime, John Larson was exposed to asbestos through his hobbies, workplace and even in his own home in Missouri. In 2006, John’s life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

A few years later, John tragically passed away from this disease, leaving his wife Joyce and 12-year-old daughter behind. His family has made it their mission to honor his legacy by raising awareness for mesothelioma and advocating for those impacted by this illness.

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A Lifetime of Asbestos Exposure

John’s exposure to asbestos began when he was just a child, while playing near the laundry room with his sister where his dad’s work uniforms were routinely washed.

John’s dad William was a process chemical engineer for both National Lead and Monsanto, where he worked with cement pipes, insulation, boilers, furnaces, gaskets and other products that contained asbestos.

Microscopic asbestos fibers would cling to William’s hair and work uniforms, and he unknowingly brought these fibers home from his job each night. This put John and his sister at risk of secondhand asbestos exposure.

As an adult, John’s role as a surveyor led him to inspect aging buildings filled with asbestos tiles and other hazardous building materials.

John was also exposed to asbestos through his hobbies, which included restoring old cars and completing home remodeling projects.

Throughout this period, John and his wife Joyce remained unaware of the silent threat posed by asbestos exposure — until he was eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma.

“We weren’t aware that his cancer was related to asbestos until about six months after he was initially diagnosed.”
Joyce, John’s Wife

John’s diagnosis shocked his family and shed light on the dangerous consequences of a lifetime of asbestos exposure.

A Father & Husband Taken Too Soon

John was a devoted father, loving husband and cherished friend. His daughter, the center of his world, was only 8 years old when he received his mesothelioma diagnosis.

Before he became sick, John was a co-founder and past president of the Gateway Thunderbird Club. His passion for classic cars began in 1975 when he acquired his first vintage vehicle, and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of old cars with fellow enthusiasts.

In their free time, John and Joyce completed renovations in their old St. Louis home. During these projects, John was unknowingly exposed to asbestos yet again.

John lost his battle with mesothelioma in November 2010, just four years after his diagnosis. His passing left an unfillable void in the lives of those who knew and loved him.

“There’s not a day that I don’t think about him, how hard he fought to stay here with us and everything he did to make sure that we would be taken care of when he was gone.”
– Joyce, John’s Wife

John lives on in the memories of his family and friends, as well as in their fight to hold the asbestos companies responsible for John’s death accountable.

Holding Asbestos Companies Accountable

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, an inexpensive mineral that has been used in thousands of products across different industries.

This cancer is often considered preventable, as many asbestos companies knew their products were dangerous but chose to hide this information from the public in order to protect their profits.

“That’s the worst part of all of it, is that none of these people have to be battling mesothelioma or dying from it — because it could have been avoided,” Joyce said.

As a result, patients and their families may be able to file mesothelioma lawsuits against asbestos companies to secure compensation for medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses.

Because symptoms of mesothelioma can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years to appear, it’s often difficult to determine exactly which product or company may be responsible for a patient’s illness — especially in cases like John’s, where there was a lifetime of asbestos exposure.

To get help, a friend recommended Joyce contact Simmons Hanly Conroy, a leading national mesothelioma law firm. She was quickly connected with a skilled legal team that was committed to helping her through this difficult time. Her lawyers were able to help the family pinpoint which companies were at fault.

“The manufacturers who used and continue to use asbestos in their materials — I don’t know how they sleep at night. It’s greed. It all boils down to money,” Joyce remarked.

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The Simmons Hanly Conroy Difference

At Simmons Hanly Conroy, our clients and their families are treated with compassion and respect. In addition to lawyers, investigators and paralegals, the firm also has registered nurses on staff who can help clients learn about support groups and mesothelioma treatment options.

“Simmons Hanly Conroy was amazing through the whole process,” Joyce explained. “My daughter was very young then — she was 12 when her dad died. It was a very emotional and stressful time, but the firm was always very supportive.”

Joyce quickly grew close to her mesothelioma lawyers and remained in regular contact with them, even after John passed away.

“Everybody was above and beyond, and went out of their way to help us, make sure that we were doing okay and asked if we needed anything,” Joyce said.

Joyce also appreciated Simmons Hanly Conroy’s dedication to the mesothelioma community. With over $21 million donated to cancer research, Simmons Hanly Conroy is committed to helping find a cure for mesothelioma, so other families don’t have to suffer like John’s did.

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Honoring John’s Legacy at Miles for Meso

In 2009, Simmons Hanly Conroy founded Miles for Meso, a 5k walk/run dedicated to raising money for mesothelioma research and honoring mesothelioma warriors and their families.

Joyce has been attending Miles for Meso since the event first began — and she hasn’t missed a race since. Every year, Joyce gathers a team to complete the walk in her late husband’s honor and raise funds for mesothelioma awareness and research.

“Miles for Meso is important to me because it keeps awareness out there about asbestos and the fact that it is not banned in the USA,” explained Joyce. “It’s still being used to this day.”

This annual event also creates a space for community amongst patients and loved ones, where the shared experience of mesothelioma fosters strong bonds. These connections offer vital support following a diagnosis of this rare disease.

“It’s very nice to be here around people who know and understand what our family went through. There’s so many different families that are impacted by it, when it’s caused by something and you know it could have been prevented,” Joyce explained.

Miles for Meso has raised over $925,000 for mesothelioma research and asbestos awareness groups, including the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation — an organization the Gateway Thunderbird Club has also donated to in his honor.

Help for Families Impacted by Mesothelioma

John’s family continues to support a ban on asbestos, and they believe that nobody else should have to go through the tragedy of a mesothelioma diagnosis.

As a national mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy has the resources and experience necessary to help families like John’s who have been impacted by mesothelioma.

While it’s impossible to prepare for a mesothelioma diagnosis, our team can provide support and assistance during the uncertainty that follows. Filing a mesothelioma claim can help pay for medical bills, burial expenses, lost wages and more.

Call (800) 326-8900 or get a free legal consultation now to learn more about how we may be able to help you and your family.

Simmons Support Team
Simmons Hanly ConroyWritten by:

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