In July 2011, Bill Ziegler was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma at the age of 33. With three young children, including a new baby with his beloved wife Kate, he was determined not to go down without a fight. Bill has undergone chemotherapy, has had a pleurectomy, radiation and WT-1 immunotherapy. This fighter’s spirit led the Meso Foundation to nominate Bill to represent the meso community as a Survivor Advocate within the greater cancer community.
Bill is representing the mesothelioma community as a Survivor Advocate at the 7th Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference: Advancing Survivorship Care through Multilevel Collaboration in June after being nominated by the Meso Foundation. He was one of twenty survivors accepted out of 100 applications. Survivor Advocates will learn about the latest advances in survivorship care and how to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.
Bill wants to attend this conference because he feels “that you can never have too many resources or be educated enough. Whether it is for treatment, living a better quality of life, or to know what the future holds.” Bill plans to share what he learns with the mesothelioma community. He hopes that his attendance at the survivorship conference and the sharing of his learnings will inspire and encourage his fellow meso warriors.
“As a survivor of an extremely lethal type of cancer,” says Bill, “I feel that I have a responsibility to motivate others to take control into their own hands and make great decisions, while living life to its fullest.”