Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day

This morning, following a very early wake up call, Meso Foundation supporters came together on Rockefeller Plaza to raise national awareness of mesothelioma. This was the third consecutive year that the Foundation organized this awareness event.

The Meso Foundation group was visible throughout the three-hour morning show in their bright yellow shirts. During the second hour of the program, Savannah Guthrie briefly interviewed our own Rich Mosca (a meso warrior and board member of the Meso Foundation).

Here are a few other photos from the event.

Also on the 26th, the Orioles, during their game against the Toronto Blue Jays, recognized Meso Awareness Day by featuring information about the Meso Foundation on the jumbotron screen.

Orioles Game Group photo Orioles 2

Today Show and the Baltimore Orioles

Here at the Meso Foundation, every year we try to make Meso Awareness Day bigger and better. With your help and the help of all of our supporters, the buzz this year has, in fact, been louder than ever. The events that have already taken place have been an enormous success, and we know that those still to come will follow the same path. We will create a handy summary of all accomplishments as soon as this week is over. Until then, please note these upcoming events:

100_0407TOMORROW MORNING, September 26th, please tune in to the Today Show. As has become tradition, Meso Foundation staff and supporters will participate in the audience of the show and, hopefully, will be given a few seconds of air-time to tell the nation why Mesothelioma Awareness Day is so important to all of us.

TOMORROW AFTERNOON, September 26th, the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to display Meso Foundation’s logo and information about Meso Awareness Day throughout their game, encouraging their fans to visit to learn more and to donate.

A full Meso Awareness Day event schedule is available at

The John Pavlick Miles for Meso 8K & Family Fun Run

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, Olga and Sarah Pavlick will be hosting a timed 8K race and a 2K family fun run at Burke Lake Park in Virginia. The run starts at 8 AM and more information about this event, which is sponsored by the Simmons Firm, is available on the event’s Facebook page at

Pavlicks-8k-2011-003_blogJohn Pavlick was diagnosed with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in July 2008. Although his prognosis was grim, John was determined to fight. Moreover, his wanted to make sure that his case at least be used by researchers to help others in the future. His journey began at Presbyterian Memorial Hospital in New York City one month after his diagnosis and his courageous battle ended just a few months later, on November 13th. He was only 60 years old.

The John Pavlick Miles for Meso 8K & Family Fun Run, which is now in its third year, began shortly after John Pavlick’s passing. His wife Olga and daughter-in-law, Sarah, were determined to do something to honor his memory. They wanted to raise awareness of mesothelioma and they wanted to continue John’s desire to help others through research and patients services. One day, walking through Burke Lake Park in Virginia, where they live, they fondly remembered that John and Olga often took walks in that park. That sparked their idea to organize a run/walk along those same trails!

This year, Olga and Sarah hope to focus even more than usual on those affected by the disease, so they established an Honor Wall to remember loved ones lost to mesothelioma and will be printing the submitted names on their race t-shirts as well. “We want to be a place where families can come together and honor their loved ones, provide support for those fighting meso now and educate others about the disease,” said Sarah Pavlick.

We want to wish the Pavlick family the best of luck with their event, and would like to encourage those of you in Virginia to attend. If Virginia is not in your neck of the woods, take a look here at all the other events that benefit the Meso Foundation planned around Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

New Balance Products Raise Money for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Kevin with his dad.

Kevin Connelly, a New Balance sales rep from the Chicagoland area, became inspired to host a fundraising event about six months ago, right after his dad’s diagnosis of mesothelioma. In search for more information about mesothelioma, Kevin decided to attend the Meso Foundation’s Symposium. It was at the Symposium where the pieces to his event puzzle started coming together.

Kevin felt that, to maximize his impact, his event should reflect his own interests and should allow him to use his expertise and resources. Finally, it dawned on him! He realized that he could partner with the retailers he works with on a daily basis to help raise awareness, and money.

He pitched the idea to his retailers asking them to donate part of the proceeds from New Balance merchandise to the Meso Foundation, and a great number of them agreed.

Getting some of them to commit to a day and amount of donation has been challenging, but Kevin didn’t take “no” for an answer. Here is the list of participating retailers who committed for September 2012:

September 21st- 23rd
Naperville Running Company
34 W. Jefferson
Naperville, IL 60540
September 26th
Holmes Shoes
4700 N. University
Peoria, IL 61614
Holmes Shoes
1150 W. Carl Sandburg Dr. (Sandburg Mall)
Galesburg, IL 61401
September 26th
Holmes Shoes
3636 Ave. of the Cities
Moline, IL 61265
September 26th- 29th
Mosser’s Shoes
2460 W. Wabash
Springfield, IL 62704
Mosser’s Shoes
6 Convenience Center
Champaign, IL 61820

Now that this year’s event is underway, Kevin is already planning for next year. He has lots of ideas that he just didn’t have time to implement this time around, and that will make his fundraiser even more profitable. He feels that including an online shopping component, for example, would allow him a far greater reach. Also, perhaps, changing the time of his fundraiser to a month other than September (as September is not a very good retail month in general) could yield him larger contributions.

“What I hope to do in the future is to piggyback off of other promotions that the retailers run,” says Kevin. “If I can get them to donate a portion of their sales from those days, this would be a huge success,” he adds.

The Meso Foundation is very proud of Kevin and of all our volunteers and community members who work hard to raise money for mesothelioma research, patient support and education, and for advocacy to end mesothelioma and the suffering it causes. We urge you to support Mesothelioma Awareness Day by participating in one of our community events and by supporting our volunteers’ fundraising efforts.

5K Run/Walk for Mesothelioma in Memory of Gary Batch – Waterford, CT

For many months now, the Batch family has been working hard planning and organizing their first 5K Run/Walk for Meso in memory of Gary Batch, benefiting the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. On Saturday, September 22, 2012, their hard work will come to fruition as they welcome runners and walkers to this family friendly event in Waterford, CT.

Starting at Waterford Beach Park and stretching along the coast of Long Island Sound, this run/walk was entirely inspired by the loss the Batch family suffered. Gary Batch was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and Waterford was the town where he resided and raised his family. With this race, the family wanted to carry on his memory but also to give back, just as Gary did his entire life. He was the epitome of a selfless man.

After serving our country in the Navy, right out of high school, Gary spent his life protecting the local community as a firefighter, while at the same time volunteering his time to serve as president of the New London Firefighters Union for 16 years. He also shared his passion of sports with the youth of Waterford by coaching and contributing his time to the preteen basketball and little league organizations.  These are just a few examples of how Gary spent his time to give back to the community.

The Batch’s hope to get a good turn-out of our family and friends participating, along with those in the community who either want to come out for a good time, or to support a great cause.

“We think everyone will not only enjoy the course, but the food and raffle prizes after as well.  In general, we are looking to use multiple avenues to raise money and awareness for mesothelioma,” says the Batch family.

More information about the race is available at

To donate in support of the race and in memory of Gary Batch, please visit:

If you don’t live in Connecticut, but would like to find an event to support around Mesothelioma Awareness Day, click here to view our list of upcoming community events.