On May 13, Meso Foundation CEO Melinda Kotzian traveled to the Northern Virginia offices of the National Insulation Association (NIA) where she was presented with an $11,000 donation to the Foundation. NIA held a silent auction in April of 2014 as part of their annual convention, through which they raised $22,000. Half of the money was given to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, while the other half was given to the NIA Foundation for Education, Training, and Industry Advancement.
Founded in 1953, the National Insulation Association works to keep the commercial and industrial insulation industry up-to-date on industry trends and technological advances. The NIA Foundation for Education, Training, and Industry Advancement funds high-quality programs to increase awareness of the many benefits of insulation, and it has developed training and other industry-enriching programs.
Michele M. Jones, the Executive Vice President and CEO of NIA, personally presented the $11,000 donation to Melinda Kotzian. When asked why NIA chose the Meso Foundation as the recipient, Jones said, “We wanted to pick a charity that resonated with our members so that it would add to the meaningfulness of the silent auction and bring out the motivation of our members to donate.”
In its early years, NIA often saw the use of asbestos in insulation. In the 1950s and 60s, most insulators did not know of the risks involved with asbestos exposures. Due to the fact that mesothelioma has a latency period of 20 to 60 years, some insulators who were exposed to asbestos back then are now developing mesothelioma. Jones continued, “[Mesothelioma] has been prevalent throughout our history and we want to do our part and do what we can for those who have been affected by this disease.”
This donation helps the Meso Foundation maintain and improve its many programs, including its patient support services; development and distribution of online and offline educational materials; funding of the most promising research to develop life-saving treatments; and advocating the federal government for continued and increased funding of research. Upon receiving the donation at NIA, Melinda Kotzian noted, “As such a small organization, this amount makes a huge impact on what we do. Every dollar enables us to continue to operate our life-saving programs.”
To learn more about mesothelioma and Meso Foundation programs, visit curemeso.org.