Simmons Hanly Conroy Sponsors Races and Walks Benefiting Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
EAST ALTON, Ill., August 18, 2010 – The Simmons law firm is sponsoring the second annual Miles for Meso 5k fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 25 in Alton, Ill., to raise awareness about mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Last year, over 500 people supported the fight against this rare cancer by participating in the first ever Miles for Meso race in historic, downtown Alton. Race organizers expect as many people to once again fill the streets for this year’s event.
“Since we sponsored the first Miles for Meso in Alton last year, its popularity has exploded,” said John Simmons, chairman and CEO of the firm.
During the event’s first year, Miles for Meso races were held in Alton, St. Louis and Florida. Now, the number of Miles for Meso races has nearly doubled with additional races scheduled in Rushville, Ind. and Fairfax Station, Va. In addition, race organizers have received requests from individuals affected by mesothelioma in Texas, Massachusetts and California who are also interested in hosting their own Miles for Meso races.
“We’re making progress. As Miles for Meso grows, so does the support for this orphan disease, mesothelioma,” Simmons said. “But much more work needs to be done in order to raise awareness and advance treatment options.”
The races in Alton, Ill., Rushville, Ind., and Fairfax Station, Va. will take place the same weekend to celebrate Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Last year, Illinois was one of eight states including Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Colorado and Washington, to make a proclamation or pass a resolution making Sept. 26 Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the state.
All the proceeds from the Miles for Meso races will help medical researchers find a cure for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses, Simmons said.
Last year, the Alton race raised nearly $50,000 for mesothelioma research. This year, 100 percent of the proceeds from all three races will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that has contributed more than $6.4 million to research for improving treatment options and finding a cure.
St. Louis native and meso survivor Julie Gundlach will attend the Alton Miles for Meso to share her inspirational story. As recently documented in a national investigative story about mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases, she was exposed to asbestos as a child when her father brought the deadly dust home on his work clothes. Years later, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
“I think people are most often surprised to learn that asbestos is not fully banned in the United States,” Gundlach said. “Awareness and events like this are vital to advancing a national conversation that leads to financial support of research at the federal level.”
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 8:45 a.m. at the new Simmons law firm building next to Marquette High School.
It costs $15 to register for the race before Sept. 16, $20 if postmarked after Sep. 16, and $25 if you register the day of the race.
The race begins at 9 a.m. and will be followed by an awards ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100 will be awarded respectively to the top finishers in the men and women’s divisions.
For more information about Miles for Meso races or to register visit www.milesformeso.org.
Follow the Miles for Meso movement on Facebook!