Upcoming Telephone Workshop: Fundraise for Meso

Fundraise for MesoWe have recently announced that we will be holding a telephone workshop about organizing your own fundraising event for mesothelioma. If you ever thought about hosting an event to benefit the Meso Foundation, this is your opportunity to get an inside look and have your questions answered for “how to” plan your very own mesothelioma event.

The workshop will take place via a conference call over the phone, on which you will learn about hosting an event and be able to ask questions. By attending the telephone workshop, you will have your questions answered by the Meso Foundation Development Team.

Some of the topics that we will be discussing are event planning and coordination, letter writing campaigns, company matching opportunities and most importantly answering all your questions.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is around the corner on September 26, and this is a great time to get involved and host your very own event to benefit the Meso Foundation.

The Telephone Workshop: Fundraise for Meso will be held on August 26, 2015 at 8PM EST. Click here to register, and please e-mail Erica Ruble at eruble@curemeso.org to receive the call-in information.

Wear Your Support: The New Meso Foundation Store

Store Products SampleWe are beyond excited to introduce to you the new Meso Foundation Store run by GoodThreads. Our new store features a variety of products and designs, many of which are customizable. The best part: whenever a product is purchased, the Meso Foundation receives a $5.00 donation.

Many of our available designs allow users to customize them by inserting a name or a photo of the individual they wish to honor or memorialize. Similarly, our event organizers can customize their products with their event’s theme and name.

When you land on the store home page, simply click the “Get Started” button to begin the process. Now, you can choose from 11 different designs. A range of design options are available, including basic “curemeso.org” logos, customizable event-specific “5k for Meso” and “Music for Meso” logos, simple designs that display your dedication to finding a cure for mesothelioma, and more.

Once you choose a design you like, you will be able to choose the product you want to purchase. Products are available for both men and women, including standard t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, pullover and zip-up hoodies, micro performance t-shirts, v-neck t-shirts, polo shirts, and more.

Products are available in a variety of colors as well, many of them in blue. There are a number of great options for you to wear on September 26 for Mesothelioma Awareness Day as we paint the world in meso awareness by wearing blue! Click here for more information about how to get involved on Meso Awareness Day.

After you choose your product and the color you prefer, you can either customize the design (if you chose a design that allows for this) or continue on to make your purchase. Once you enter the checkout process, you will see that a donation amount of $5.00 is included in the purchase price. You will have the option to make a higher donation if desired.

With our new store, we hope to raise more mesothelioma awareness and funds. The donations made via product purchases will go towards our mesothelioma research grant program, education and prevention programs, patient and family support programs, and our advocacy efforts. For a more detailed rundown of how donations are used at the Meso Foundation, click here.

Visit the Meso Foundation Store now to get started!

Asbestos Awareness Week and Prevention of Mesothelioma

Asbestos Awareness Week Fundraising ChallengeToday is Day 3 of Asbestos Awareness Week. We honor this week by providing our community and the general public with educational information, blog posts, press releases, and important facts necessary to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and to prevent dangerous exposures to asbestos.

Also, in honor of this important week, the Meso Foundation launched its new prevention program with focus on early detection research, prevention of asbestos exposures, and prevention of disease development.

Particularly, with respect to prevention, the Meso Foundation is placing a strong focus on education for the general public, as well as workers at risk of occupational exposure.

The EPA estimates that asbestos is still present in tens of millions of homes, government buildings, schools, and has also been found naturally-occurring in the soil in several locations in the United States, sometimes in very close proximity to inhabited areas. According to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 1.3 million construction employees continue to be occupationally exposed to asbestos.

When disturbed, asbestos particles become airborne and are easily inhaled. No amount of exposure is deemed safe.

Because most cases of mesothelioma are known to be caused by exposure to asbestos, we believe that prevention of exposures to asbestos, and other known carcinogens associated with the development of mesothelioma, will contribute to our mission of eradicating mesothelioma. Read our full prevention program mission here.

Investing in expanding our programs does not come without cost. In honor of our launch, two generous donors have offered up to $12,000 in matching funds for donations made in honor of Asbestos Prevention Week. If successful, this would mean a total of $24,000 for the Meso Foundation to use for prevention, research, education, support, and advocacy.

Please help us reach this goal by making a tax-deductible donation!

If you missed this week’s posts, here they are:
Announcing the Meso Foundation’s New Prevention Program
Meso Foundation to speak at BoRit Asbestos Superfund Citizen Advisory Group Meeting
Asbestos, its History, and its Dangerous Presence in Daily Life
Help us Launch our NEW Prevention Program!
Know Before You Buy: Asbestos Available for Purchase Online

The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer reviewed scientific research to establish effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $9 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.

Help us Launch our NEW Prevention Program!

Asbestos HazardTwo Meso Foundation supporters dedicated to mesothelioma prevention have pledged to donate up to $12,000 if we can match it. This would mean a total of $24,000 for the Meso Foundation to use for prevention, research, education, support, and advocacy.

We need your help reaching this goal! Please help us match the $12,000 pledge by donating online here. If you wish to donate by check or over the phone, please call us.

Thank you in advance for your support!


Learn more about the Meso Foundation’s new prevention program at curemeso.org/asbestos.

Thank You to our Giving Circles Members: Rising Leaders Council

Giving CirclesIn 2014, the Meso Foundation established four Giving Circles to provide a source of vital funding for its patient programs and research grants. In exchange for annual unrestricted donations, members receive varied benefits and recognition. The Blue Ribbon Council provides an avenue for individuals who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma to come together for support. The Warrior Council offers mesothelioma patients, their family members and caregivers a safe haven where they can lean on and learn from each other while battling this disease. The Meso Professionals Council offers a place for professionals working in the mesothelioma field to demonstrate their commitment to the Meso Foundation and the individuals it serves.

Today, we would like to highlight the Rising Leaders Council. This is the first installment of a series of blog posts in which we will provide you the opportunity to get to know our council members and thank them for their commitment to the mission to cure mesothelioma.

The Meso Foundation established the Rising Leaders Council to create a community for up-and-coming fundraisers and advocates to come together in support of the Meso Foundation. Together, Rising Leaders Council members will help obtain the resources needed for the organization to continue its quest to eradicate mesothelioma.

Below, learn more about each of our Rising Leaders Council members.

Aria BendixAria Bendix

In 2009, Aria Bendix founded the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Breath of Hope Club in honor of her father, Ken, who passed away from peritoneal mesothelioma. In the past, she has interned for the Meso Foundation and helped to raise money for the Ken Bendix Memorial Research Grant through various volunteer efforts. Aria is from Trabuco Canyon, California and currently attends Harvard University.


Bella BendixIsabella Bendix

Isabella Bendix is President of the Breath of Hope Club started at her high school in honor of her father, Ken, who passed away from mesothelioma in September 2009. The proceeds from the Club’s fundraising events go toward the “Ken Bendix 2nd Memorial Research Grant.” Isabella has volunteered her time over the last three summers to work directly at the Meso Foundation. This past summer, she visited Senate offices to advocate for establishing a scientific framework for mesothelioma. Isabella is a high school senior and resides in Trabuco Canyon, California.


Marco BrittMarco D. Britt

Marco Britt has been involved with the Meso Foundation since 2014 when his father, Dennis E. Britt, passed away from pleural mesothelioma. He is dedicated to finding a cure and raising funds and awareness for mesothelioma warriors and their families. Marco is an attorney who lives in Miami, Florida.


Chastity BrownChastity Brown

Chastity Brown’s life was forever changed when her father, Glen D. Brown, passed away from mesothelioma. She is committed to raising awareness and funds for the Meso Foundation in memory of her father. Chastity has attended multiple fundraising events across the country to show her support for the meso community. She currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky and works as a Privacy and Compliance Consultant. Chastity also has a daughter in college.


Darlene CarenzaDarlene Carenza

Darlene Carenza connected with the Meso Foundation shortly after her mother, Donna Serbalik, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011. After attending her first Symposium with her mother and advocating on Capitol Hill, Darlene vowed to get more involved with the foundation and help others who share the same struggles. Her mother passed away the same year — just a month after Darlene found out she was pregnant with her daughter (and future Rising Leader) Parker Rose. Darlene has hosted and participated in fundraising events and is dedicated to raising awareness and increasing funding for a cure. Darlene resides in Palmetto Bay, Florida with her husband and daughter. She is a Senior Produce and Content Director for Travelzoo.


Jennifer GelsickJennifer Gelsick

Jennifer Gelsick has dedicated herself to raising funds and awareness for mesothelioma warriors and their families since her father, Donald Edward Smitely, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Despite the loss of her father, she remains committed to the Meso Foundation and has held a variety of fundraisers. Jennifer lives in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She and her husband own a home inspection company.

Erica IaconoErica Iacono

Erica Iacono has been involved with the Meso Foundation since 2000 when her father passed away from pleural mesothelioma. Erica is also a board member for the Meso Foundation. She resides in Manhattan and is a writer working in public relations.



Sarah LacknerSarah Lackner

Sarah Lackner is a CPA residing in Arlington, Virginia. She has lost four family members to mesothelioma, most recently her mother Susan (2011) and her aunt Linda (2012). She is committed to the Meso Foundation’s mission of ending the disease and helping all of those affected. Sarah’s father, Ted Lackner, serves on the Meso Foundation’s Board of Directors.



Marina MintzMarina Mintz

Marina Mintz’s reality was turned upside down when her brother and best friend, Adam, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in early 2000. After he died, Marina was determined to do something to help find a cure in hopes that others would not have to be subjected to this insidious disease. Marina has been involved in raising funds for the Meso Foundation since her very first event in December 2002 and she continues raising money by doing what she knows – throwing parties! Since that first event, Marina has joined forces with another member of the mesothelioma community with whom she co-hosts a poker tournament in the summer. Marina lives in Los Angeles, CA (soon to be Austin, TX) and is President of Paragon Language Services, the company her mother Hanne founded in 1991.


Jennifer ToddJennifer Todd

Jennifer Todd is the proud daughter of George Zachmann, a mesothelioma warrior living in Neavitt, Maryland. Jennifer has been inspired by her dad’s strength and would like to help the Meso Foundation increase asbestos and mesothelioma awareness and raise funds for clinical trials. Jennifer lives in Miami Beach, Florida with her two daughters and works for Morgan Stanley.



Jill WaiteJill Waite

Since 2012, Jill Waite has directed the Bruce A. Waite Mile for Meso 5k Run/Walk in Ohio. Her fundraising efforts not only raise awareness and funds for the Meso Foundation, but also help connect patients and families. She dedicates her race to her father, meso warriors, and their families. Jill works as a Counselor and Chaplain and resides in Ontario, Ohio. She is Godmother to Jack and Kate.


To learn more about the Rising Leaders Council and become a member, contact Erica Ruble at eruble@curemeso.org