Advocacy

Miles for Meso’s First Virtual Event a Success

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Oct. 15, 2020
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Written By: Fran Mannino,
October 15, 2020
The Mesothelioma Center Patient Advocates take part in Miles for Meso

Another successful Alton Miles for Meso 5K Run & 3K Fun Run/Walk is in the books, with enthusiastic participation in spite of a global pandemic that forced it to go virtual this year.

Runners had from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 to log their miles on the Miles for Meso website.

Money raised this year will benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

“ADAO was ecstatic to see that even though Miles for Meso was a virtual event this year, there were even more participants,” Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com.

“Although COVID is raging through America, our mesothelioma warrior community remains strong and dedicated to banning asbestos, raising mesothelioma awareness and finding a cure,” she said.

Reinstein’s husband died more than a decade ago from mesothelioma.

“I loved spending the Miles for Meso race week connecting and sharing online with the national and international warrior community,” Reinstein said. “Our sincere thanks to the racers, donors, sponsors and Simmons Hanly Conroy for supporting ADAO’s prevention and policy efforts.”

Raising Awareness for a Mesothelioma Cure

Mesothelioma is a devastating cancer that is caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.

The Miles for Meso race draws attention to this rare condition and the need for more money to fund clinical trials and other research for new treatments.

Because of the virtual nature of the Miles for Meso event, which is usually held in person in Alton, Illinois, runners and walkers signed up from across the country.

“This year has been different for most. Miles for Meso was held virtually, but it didn’t stop anyone from showing their support and helping raise awareness about asbestos and mesothelioma cancer,” said Danielle DiPietro, a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center.

The Alton Miles for Meso walk and run was founded in 2009 by the national law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy. Since its inception, it has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for mesothelioma research and to assist families who have been impacted by a mesothelioma diagnosis.

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com accounted for 82 Miles for Meso participants, with employees and their family members logging miles for the cause.

“We had Patient Advocates, mesothelioma survivors, a lot of family members of patients, as well as current patients participate,” said DiPietro.

The Mesothelioma Center is tireless in its efforts to help families affected by a mesothelioma diagnosis navigate the disease. The center was a sponsor of this year’s event, bringing in a total of $3,550 in contributions.

“Events like Miles for Meso will continue to support research for finding a cure as well as raise awareness about asbestos and hopefully banning it in the U.S,” said DiPietro. “This was another successful event and we look forward to continuing the efforts next year.”

Helping Those with Mesothelioma

Dr. Marcelo DaSilva, medical director at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute in Orlando and founder of its Mesothelioma International Treatment Program, showed his support for mesothelioma awareness with a post on his professional LinkedIn page.

“Every day I get inspired by my patients’ courage and relentless resolve to find a cure for malignant mesothelioma,” DaSilva wrote. “ We shall fight this frightful disease with growing confidence and growing strength in our abilities to develop new drugs and treatment protocols. We shall never surrender.”

DaSilva said it is important to bring hope to patients and families dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

“We shall never surrender,” he said in his Miles for Meso post. “We shall transform our patients from victims to victorious.”

A number of event participants rallied on Twitter with photos and videos using the hashtag #MilesforMeso as a way to further spread awareness of mesothelioma.

“This year brought people from all over the country together to participate in Miles for Meso,” said DiPietro. “Some patients walked and some road their bikes. All the efforts made are appreciated beyond words.”