Our Patient Advocates

Our team of Patient Advocates is committed to helping anyone affected by mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses.

  • Help find the best doctors and treatment facilities near you
  • Connect you with local support groups
  • Connect you with our on-staff nurse
  • Provide custom literature and books on your diagnosis
  • Help veterans receive their VA benefits
  • Assist with financial and legal options
Joe Lahav - Patient Advocate Manager

Joe Lahav

Financial Assistance Expert & Patient Advocate
(855) 404-4592, ext. 31

Cancer affects many of us in one way or another. It is an especially important cause for me. As a young man, I lost my mother to cancer. I know first-hand how devastating the diagnosis and the disease can be, not only to the patient, but also to the patient's family and loved ones. There are so many issues faced by families struggling with a cancer diagnosis and, unfortunately, I have faced most of them personally.

With that in mind, I know multiple sources of financial help for you and your loved ones, including travel, housing and treatment grants. I am also experienced in asbestos-related lawsuits and trust funds set aside to help fund people diagnosed with mesothelioma. Let us handle the finances so you can focus on more important things in your life — your health and family.

Karen Selby R.N.

Karen Selby, R.N.

Patient Advocate
(855) 404-4592, ext. 33

I am a registered nurse with specific background in general, vascular and thoracic surgery. I also was a director of a tissue bank prior to joining Asbestos.com as a Patient Advocate nurse.

I have been a nurse for many years and have had the pleasure to work in several subspecialties within the field. My surgical and oncologic background has been a true asset to understanding the needs of mesothelioma patients and how to help guide them through their journey. This is not a perfect science and every patient is unique and has specific requests. My goal is to determine how I can help each patient best and then provide them with the tools they need: knowledge, hope, and continuing emotional support.

Vanessa Blanco

Vanessa Blanco

Patient Advocate
(855) 404-4592, ext. 39

My educational background is in Health Service Administration and I have always wanted to help others facing medical challenges. My experience with losing family members to illness, however, led me to patient advocacy. The journey of having a loved one suffer through a terminal illness can be one of the most trying times, but with the appropriate tools and knowledge it becomes manageable to deal with. I am very grateful for the advocates at the hospitals that assisted my family through our difficult times, and aim to provide the same compassion and empowerment to others that was provided to me.

Missy Edmunds

Missy Edmunds

Medical Outreach Director
(855) 404-4592, ext. 26

I love people, and that's why I have my degree in psychology. I love the human experience and meeting new people. I also love connecting mesothelioma patients with a specialist nearby. As the Medical Outreach Director here at The Mesothelioma Center, I communicate with these doctors regularly to discuss treatment options for each patient. If you need someone to listen to you or someone to guide you along your journey with mesothelioma, I am always happy to help.

Jose Ortiz

Jose Ortiz

Medical Outreach Liaison

I have the opportunity to travel to specialty cancer centers across the country to meet with world-class physicians who help patients affected by mesothelioma. By establishing relationships with these specialists, we can confidently send patients to see an excellent doctor. My degree in Health Services Administration and my 13+ years in Pharmaceutical/ Medical Sales prepared me well for my role at The Mesothelioma Center.

I also work to create mesothelioma awareness and make a positive impact by giving back to the mesothelioma community. I attend meetings and symposiums related to mesothelioma on behalf of Asbestos.com to support any efforts that are being made to help patients.

Danielle Dipietro

Danielle DiPietro

Patient Advocate
(855) 404-4592, ext. 9999

After graduating with my marketing degree, I joined the Public Outreach Department at The Mesothelioma Center. As I learned about the disease and what we do here, I soon decided I wanted to help patients and families directly. I moved over to Patient Advocacy because I love working with people.

I have lost two uncles who were under the age of 55 to cancer, and I wish my family had an organization like ours to help get them to top specialists. Here at Asbestos.com, we don't just talk to patients once; we build a relationship and help them through every step of their journey with mesothelioma. That is what I truly love about this job.

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