Celebrated each year on September 26, Mesothelioma Awareness Day honors the tens of thousands of individuals and families who have felt the devastation that comes with a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused exclusively by asbestos exposure, and each year around 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with it. The disease is almost always fatal, and patients with this cancer have an average life expectancy of 4 to 18 months.
What makes the disease so difficult to diagnose is its long latency period. It can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to develop, and because these symptoms are often vague and associated with other illnesses — such as the common cold or flu — misdiagnosis occurs regularly. In many cases, by the time mesothelioma is identified, the cancer has already progressed into its late stages.
That’s why a mesothelioma diagnosis often comes as a terrible shock — the shock waves that entire families and loved ones feel.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day gives the mesothelioma community a very necessary day in the spotlight and offers Americans the opportunity to support individuals and families feeling the impact of this tragic illness.
Below we outline some of the best ways to become a part of this year’s national effort.
How to Get Involved on Mesothelioma Awareness Day This Year
Started by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in 2004, Mesothelioma Awareness Day is now in its 19th year. Each year, the awareness campaign has succeeded in drawing more and more attention to the mesothelioma community and the cause of the terrible disease: asbestos.
There are dozens of ways to get involved in the awareness effort this year.
5 Ways To Get Involved on Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2022
The Mesothelioma Foundation recommends engaging in any of the following:
1. “Paint the world in mesothelioma blue” by:
Taking photos of you, your friends, family and colleagues wearing blue, the official color of the awareness effort
Sharing those photos on social media to raise awareness, using the hashtag #curemeso
2. Reshare Social Media Posts to Your Network
Share social media posts from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
3. Participate in the Miles for Meso 5k/3k Race
Learn about the Miles for Meso race and how its racers across 10 states are increasing awareness and raising money for critical mesothelioma research. You can even follow along with racers on social media using the hashtag #MilesforMeso
4. Contact Your Local Representatives About a Meso Awareness Day Proclamation
Contact your local government to get a Mesothelioma Awareness Day proclamation (Use the Mesothelioma Foundation’s how-to guide for additional information).
5. Reach Out to Local Media Outlets For Coverage
Contact your local newspaper and/or news station and request that a story be run on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
More excellent ways to join the movement may be found on the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation website.
Additionally, you may consider supporting ADAO’s important advocacy work by signing the organization’s Ban Asbestos Now petition, which is nearly at its goal of obtaining 150,000 signatures.
This year, we hope everyone affected by mesothelioma feels supported on this important day.