Participating in Mesothelioma Awareness Day amid COVID-19
Sept. 26 is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. This year, events that normally take place in person will be held virtually.
Mesothelioma survivors who make these events special and impactful are at high risk of responding poorly to COVID-19. Their bodies have undergone cancer treatment that weakens the immune system, putting them at risk of severe complications from the virus.
This is why it is so important to participate virtually this year. Events that normally draw big crowds, such as Miles for Meso and Kayaking 4 Meso, will go online to allow families to safely raise mesothelioma awareness.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidelines on how to protect yourself and others, including staying at least six feet apart from those who live outside your household, wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and washing your hands frequently.
Here are some of the ways you can overcome the pandemic to virtually support Mesothelioma Awareness Day in 2020.
1. Walk in a Virtual Race
The Miles for Meso walk and race usually takes place in Alton, Illinois, but this year it’s going virtual.
Participants may register online and will run or walk with loved ones anywhere they can safely adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Entry fees go to research for mesothelioma and participants will receive a T-shirt to support the cause. Participants have until Oct. 2 to add their finish times to the race’s virtual results page.
2. Paddle in a Virtual Kayak Race
Since 2011, Kayaking 4 Meso has taken place in Waterford, New York. The 10th Annual Kayaking 4 Meso is going virtual for the first time this year.
Participants have until Sept. 12 to kayak anywhere they can safely follow social distancing guidelines. The goal is to collectively paddle 2,500 miles. Participants will add their miles to an online tally and may share their photos on the event’s Facebook page.
3. Promote Awareness on Social Media
Mesothelioma is a rare disease, and not everyone knows that asbestos exposure is the primary cause of this terminal cancer. You can help end the suffering families endure from a mesothelioma diagnosis by educating the public about asbestos exposure.
It is important to talk to your family, friends, neighbors and community about the dangers of asbestos. During the pandemic, we don’t get to see our loved ones often or much at all if we’re at high risk for complications from COVID-19, but we can promote awareness online.
Visit The Mesothelioma Center’s Facebook page for helpful information that’s easy to share with friends and family.
4. Wear Blue
Blue ribbons help to promote mesothelioma awareness. You can participate by wearing a blue ribbon, blue wristband and blue clothing.
In addition, you can take a photo of yourself all decked out in blue and share it on social media with helpful information about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.
5. Watch Documentaries and Webinars
You and your loved ones can learn more about this rare cancer and the toxic mineral that causes it by watching documentaries and webinars about mesothelioma and asbestos.
Consider watching and sharing the following:
- Dirty Laundry, a documentary about one family’s journey with mesothelioma caused by secondary asbestos exposure
- Webinar on Mesothelioma and COVID-19
- Webinar on Mesothelioma and Immunotherapy
You might be able to pull off a socially distanced viewing of one of these if you have a projector to set up outdoors.
6. Push Local Representatives for an Asbestos Ban
Many Americans believe that asbestos was banned in the U.S. a long time ago, but it wasn’t.
The Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 is in committee with both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. You can support a ban on asbestos by calling your local representatives to advocate for an asbestos ban.
Linda Reinstein, president and CEO of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, said the group is working on awareness and action for this year’s Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
“Each year, nearly 40,000 Americans die from preventable mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases, yet imports and use continue. Working with the mesothelioma and scientific communities we are focused on passing the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act to end the man-made, asbestos-caused disaster,” Reinstein told Asbestos.com. “We are grateful to Sen. Dick Durbin who will honor ADAO’s request to fly a flag on Sept. 26 to honor all asbestos victims – those exposed to asbestos, patient’s diagnosed with an asbestos-caused disease, their families and those who die.”
7. Make a Donation
Several worthy organizations are dedicating time and effort to finding a cure for mesothelioma and making sure asbestos is banned in the U.S.
A donation to any of the following nonprofits will directly help mesothelioma research or an asbestos ban:
- Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
- Massachusetts General Hospital’s Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center
- Pacific Mesothelioma Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute
We might not be able to be together in person like we usually are for Mesothelioma Awareness Day, but that doesn’t make spreading awareness any less important.
Do what you can to promote mesothelioma awareness virtually this year. Your health is important and so is raising awareness of this preventable cancer.
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3 Cited Article Sources
The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.
Simmons Hanly Conroy. (2020, August 3). 2020 Alton Miles for Meso 5K Run/3K Walk Returns in September as Virtual Event.
Retrieved from: https://www.simmonsfirm.com/news/item/2020-alton-miles-for-meso-5k-run-3k-walk-returns-as-virtual-event/
CDC. (2020, July 31). How to Protect Yourself and Others.
Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
- Kayaking 4 Meso. (n.d.). Virtual 10th Annual Kayaking for Meso. Retrieved from: https://www.kayaking4meso.org/september-12-2020-event-1/