Miles for Meso a Yearly Reminder of Need for Mesothelioma Awareness
Last weekend, I joined other Patient Advocates from The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com to participate in the 11th annual Miles for Meso 5K.
Asbestos.com was one of the sponsors for the mesothelioma awareness run and walk in Alton, Illinois.
This event was incredible with more than 1,200 participants in Alton and many more virtually. Since 2009, this event has raised more than $650,000 to help fund research and raise awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.
The 2019 race raised more than $25,000 for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. The funds benefit ADAO’s asbestos awareness, education and community initiatives.
Being at the event was an experience like no other. We got to hear a 13-year mesothelioma survivor speak. Widows of patients told their stories of inspiration and hardship, and we met many other families that have been affected by this awful cancer.
Many participants wore pictures of their loved one on their shirt. There were over 50 bibs that racers wore to run on behalf of a patient that lost their battle with mesothelioma.
Being able to represent families affected by mesothelioma that were not able to attend the event was a great honor.
Support Mesothelioma Research All Year
It is important to keep Miles for Meso and other mesothelioma events in our minds throughout the year.
Supporting research brings us one step closer to hopefully finding a cure for this rare cancer.
Funding organizations such as the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation — the charity behind Miles for Meso, which has donated $8 million to mesothelioma research programs across the country — can happen year-round.
We also need continued awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure. The U.S. is one of the only industrialized countries in the world to not have a full ban on the use of the carcinogenic mineral.
Asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, kill 12,000 to 15,000 Americans each year, according to the EWG Action Fund. Raising more awareness about asbestos brings us closer to a comprehensive ban in the United States.
How to Get Involved with Miles for Meso
Miles for Meso has numerous locations throughout the country.
You also have the opportunity to run virtually. In Orlando, The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com had 20 participants for a virtual race.
Sharing your story as a patient, caregiver, friend or family member helps raise awareness, as well.
Donating to research, participating in a race, wearing awareness bracelets — these are all ways to give back and help spread the word.
This was a very humbling experience getting to speak with and meet so many people affected by mesothelioma.
We plan to continue to sponsor this race, grow our virtual one, and join other efforts throughout the year to help with the fight against asbestos and mesothelioma.