Why is raising awareness so important? It is pertinent that we stay in front of our elected officials to ensure that they know what mesothelioma is and what is needed to eradicate the disease. It is crucial that they understand the great value in funding medical research and the invaluable improvements in treatment and diagnostics that come from quality research. Meso is historically underrepresented in research due to a few obstacles. There are few funding opportunities, a fairly small patient population to participate in clinical trials, and little interest from pharmaceutical companies due to low profitability. Our legislators must understand the need, and be constantly reminded so that when an opportunity does present itself, they have the information necessary to act!
Once again the Meso Foundation is supporting the efforts of volunteers to seek official proclamations of Mesothelioma Awareness Day in their states and hometowns. Many advocates have been in touch with our office to let us know that they are pursuing proclamations and we can’t wait to hear the results! Meso Foundation Volunteers began this effort in 2004, and it has been a dynamic force that has made a huge impact in raising awareness about mesothelioma. In 2010, both chambers of Congress passed resolutions declaring September 26 National Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
We have received our first proclamation from the city of Alexandria in Virginia- the new home of the Meso Foundation headquarters! The Mayor and City Council of Alexandria were happy to oblige our request, and we were able to pick up the proclamation the very next day at the courthouse just a few blocks down the street.
Click here to learn more about seeking your own request!
Whereas, mesothelioma is an aggressive, asbestos-related cancer that affects the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles;
Whereas, the heavy use of asbestos in manufacturing, industry and construction has been recognized as “the worst occupational health disaster in U.S. history;
Whereas, asbestos was used in the construction of virtually all office buildings, public schools, and homes built before 1975;
Whereas, a high percentage of all mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos on naval ships and in shipyards;
Whereas, this is now believed to include many of the firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers from Ground Zero on 9/11/01;
Whereas, exposure to asbestos for as little as one month can result in mesothelioma 30 years later;
Whereas, because of occupational, Navy-service related, household, or even incidental exposures and the very long latency of the disease, tens of millions of Americans are now at risk for developing mesothelioma
Whereas, for decades the need for research to develop effective treatments for mesothelioma was overlooked;
Whereas, the result of this neglect is that treatments available today generally have only limited effect and most patients die within only 12 to 15 months from diagnosis;
Whereas, in 1999, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation was formed to eradicate the life-ending and vicious effects of mesothelioma, and early progress in developing effective treatments for the disease is now being made;
and Whereas, the establishment of Mesothelioma Awareness Day would raise public awareness of the disease and of the need to develop effective treatments for it.