Many families gather to create lasting traditions for holidays, birthdays and other special events. Likewise, we in the mesothelioma community have come together to grow some traditions of our own. Since Congress officially established Mesothelioma Awareness Day on September 26, 2010, everyone affected by mesothelioma has been invited to unite on this day to educate others about this rare and preventable cancer.
Here are 7 ways you can show your support for the community on this special day:
1. Organize a Fundraiser
Organizing a fundraising event allows you to reach out to others in your community who are affected by this cancer. You can always raise funds to help improve research and treatment with an office bake sale, a 5k run/walk or an awareness party. If event planning isn’t your forte, you could instead make a donation to one of the top charities, a treatment facility or a support group.
2. Contact Your Local Media
Contacting the media is yet another way to inform your community about Mesothelioma Awareness Day and the importance of mesothelioma education, research and advocacy. Ask your local media to run a story about Mesothelioma Awareness Day or cover your fundraising event. The more people that are educated about the disease, a greater impact we can all make.
You can also contact local and federal elected officials. Our Medical Outreach Director has made a video on how to contact your elected officials along with talking points to discuss with them.
3. Join the Meso Foundation at the Today Show
In 2004, the first Mesothelioma Awareness Day was organized by volunteers for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the cancer. One of the Meso Foundation’s many traditions for Mesothelioma Awareness Day is inviting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones to gather at New York’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the taping of the Today Show.
It is iconic for large groups to meet in front of the plaza to cheer and wave signs as the morning television show is being filmed. Joining the Meso Foundation on September 26 is a great way to show strength in numbers and spread mesothelioma awareness to a national audience.
4. Take Part in Our Virtual March
Visiting New York may not be realistic for everyone. With the Mesothelioma Center Virtual March, you can show your support without even leaving your home. Just sign into Facebook and visit the our Facebook page. We will provide a Virtual March image for you to share with all your friends.
5. Fight Asbestos Face to Face
You can also post a photo of you or a loved one on our Facebook wall. We have a special photo album called Fighting Asbestos Face to Face devoted to everyone affected by mesothelioma. Families can come together to encourage or commemorate their loved ones by sharing on our wall.
6. Share Your Story
Learning from the experiences of survivors can have a profound impact on recently diagnosed patients. To help connect everyone in the community, we have compiled survivor stories about the patients and caregivers who have inspired others. Contact us to share your story and we will feature it on our Wall of Hope.
7. Wear Your Support
Show your support with one of our free awareness wristbands. Not only is this a way to encourage a loved one diagnosed with the cancer, but it can also help prevent the disease by spreading awareness about the dangers of asbestos. It’s common for people to ask questions about what your wristband represents. When they do, be ready to spread a little knowledge.
Here are some quick mesothelioma facts you can share when someone asks about your wristband:
- Mesothelioma cancer affects about 3,000 people each year.
- Asbestos is the primary cause of the disease.
- Asbestos is not banned in the United States.
- It can take 20-50 years for mesothelioma to develop after an exposure to asbestos.
- 75% of all cases occur within the lining of the lungs.
We will also hold a Facebook contest to give away 5 Mesothelioma Community t-shirts on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Everyone who posts a comment will be entered into a drawing. The winner will be randomly selected. If you win, be sure to post a picture of you wearing your shirt to our wall on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
On Wednesday, September 26, we will use our Twitter to answer any questions you may have about the disease. Mesothelioma Awareness Day marks a great milestone in the fight against this dreadful cancer, so let’s all take some time to support each other and get the word out.
If you have any suggestions to share, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.