It sure seems like there is a “national” day for just about everything under the sun lately. National Have a coke day, National eat a hamburger day, National send your best friend a picture of Will Gardener day, oh wait…. that’s just me. But I digress. There seems to be a day for everything, but some days are way more important than others.
A few weekends ago was one of those more important days. National Mesothelioma awareness day. I missed the actual day, but I have been reading up on it and it’s too important not to share. Awareness is so very important with this rare, aggressive form of cancer. I recently read an amazing survivor story and then watched her video here.
Heather is a 10 year Mesothelioma survivor; it’s incredible because generally people are given on average 10 months to live. She has an amazing positive “rose- colored” glasses sunny disposition that you can’t help but love. I have never met her, but I feel like we would be fast friends! She beat the odds with her positive attitude and much help from her family. When she was diagnosed, her daughter was only 3 months old, she had no choice but to fight this.
Did you know that Mesothelioma affects 3,000 people each year? I didn’t.
Did you know that asbestos is the primary cause of this disease? And that asbestos is not currently banned in the United States? I really didn’t know that at all.
Also, 75% of all cases occur within the lining of the lungs.
There are so many facts about this and my first question is what can I do to help? How could I help find a cure for this awful disease?
I have found that there are lots of things that can be done:
Fundraise: you can have a walk, a run, a bike event, a poker run, a party, or even a yard sale. You can get more info and a kit to start here.
Advocate: be a voice, blog, tweet, sky write, talk to friends, talk to strangers, talk to anyone who will listen about this type of cancer and what we can do to help. Write to your legal representative to urge them to sign the bill to help info here:
Volunteer: you can volunteer your time to help get the word out or even work with patients.
Attend Conferences and Events: If you are more into going to already planned things, you can attend a conference or event too!
For me, the biggest take away is to do SOMEthing, no matter how small. Because if we all take a baby step together then it equals a pretty big step to battle something that many people like Heather and her family have been struggling with for years! Together, we can always make a difference!