Result of Change

As you’ve read in Mary’s most recent blog, I’ve just returned from a trip to Washington, DC.  The trip was for a few purposes and one she mentioned was to visit the site for this year’s Symposium.  The hotel and location are beautiful and accessible to many activities.  The Omni will provide a well needed respite for you all to bring your family, relax, and gather with others in the Community.  We are also hearing back from so many of you who have already booked your trip, which makes us even more excited as the Symposium draws near.

The main reason for my visit to the Nation’s Capitol was however to meet with many offices of the Senate and House of Representatives to get a firm grasp of what is going on with the asbestos ban and mesothelioma research bill.  Overall, the outcome was very positive.  Despite a tight schedule, many Senators and Members of Congress are still working diligently toward making the passing of this bill a reality this Session.  The new Administration, Congress and new appointees have made regulatory agencies, like the EPA, more cooperative and will provide support for the much needed votes.  What was stressed to me was the importance of the Meso Community staying in contact with our legislators and keeping advocacy alive in our awareness activities. Many offices remembered meeting with so many of you and are carried along in this work from the stories we’ve shared.

The following are some tips to help create and continue the momentum needed to ban asbestos and fund meso research:

  • Call and write to your House Representative and Senators about the importance of passing an asbestos ban and research funding bill this Session.
  • Call and write to the lawmakers who preside on the Committees working on this legislation (Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives and Environment and Public Works in the Senate) to encourage and thank them for remembering the importance of this bill.
  • Read news articles about asbestos and mesothelioma in your area and State and make sure to share that information with your lawmakers, asking what they propose to do about it.
  • Call your local newspaper and media outlets and ask them to share your story of mesothelioma and the toll asbestos exposure takes on so many victims.
  • Encourage your friends, family and community to do the above and spread the word.  Everyone can do these simple tasks.
  • Spread the word about the Symposium and Advocacy Day in your town and especially to at-risk groups by printing out this flyer and asking to post it at your oncology center, doctor’s office, Veterans clubs, Union halls, and local Cancer Societies such as the American Lung Association.

I am confident that we can raise our voices to educate, remind, and create action in our lawmakers’ offices and see the signing of the strictest possible ban and funding for mesothelioma research from this Administration!

Sympsoium 2009

On Friday I met up with Jeni at the Omni Hotel in Washington DC, the site of our upcomming symposium.  It is absolutely gorgeous and situated 1.5 blocks from the metro stop.  The hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool, lovely grounds to wander around and has bicyles available for guests.  The zoo is a few blocks away and as with most Washington Cultural Sites there is no admission charge.

Jeni was brimming with excitement as she was meeting with many on the hill paving the way for our visit on Advocacy Day.  She had quite the busy schedule while in DC but I am sure when she comes up for air she will tell you all about her work ont the hill and how much your advocacy day attendeance will mean to getting this legislation passed.

We have a full agenda planned for all three days and there is sure to be something for everyone.  We have leading experts from many areas and they are excited about the opportunity to share information with you as well as answer your questions regarding treatment options and latest advances in the field of mesothelioma research.

Support groups for those that have lost loved ones as well as for caregivers and mesothelioma patients will begin on Friday.  We will have a lovely ceremony to honor those who have lost their lives to this disease.  We will have an area where you can gather and socialize with old friends as well a make new ones in the mesothelioma community.

Friday will also have our first hot topics in mesothelioma roundatable discussion.  We will seat a variety of discliplines and will have an open forum to generate discussion and disceminate information that we hope will make your lives more manageable.

The Gala Dinner will take place on Friday evening a wonderful evening event to celebrate the work we have done as well as an opportunity to come together as a community and share a meal and pleasant conversation. It is an opportunity to “break break” and cement bonds with those that you have met in the past or are just recently acquainted with.

Saturday will be our more traditional science day where we have surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and an immunologist present to you the latest advances in the treatment of mesothelioma.  We will also discuss some of the exciting new national as well as multi national trials that are available to mesothelioma patients.

Hope to see you there,

~Mary Hesdorffer, NP

Click here to contact Mary Hesdorffer, Nurse Practitioner or call 877.363.6376