Autumn is now officially upon us, and that means Mesothelioma Awareness Day is quickly approaching!
On Sept. 26, 2021, Americans will honor 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 4-18 months.
What makes the disease so difficult to diagnose is its long latency period. It can take anywhere from 20-50 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 of which are felt through entire families and loved ones.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day gives the mesothelioma community a very necessary day in the spotlight, and offers American citizens 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 18th 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.
The Mesothelioma Foundation recommends doing any of the following:
- “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 to social media to raise awareness, using the hashtag #curemeso
- Register for the 13th Annual Miles for Meso 5K Race and 3K Fun Run/Walk
- Share social media posts from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Update your Facebook profile picture with Miles for Meso’s frame
- Contact your local government to get a Mesothelioma Awareness Day proclamation
- Use the Mesothelioma Foundation’s how-to guide for more information.
- Contact your local newspaper and/or news station and request a story to be run on Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Those interested in supporting the cause should also visit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s website for more excellent ways to join the movement
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.
Miles for Meso Race Begins This Saturday!
In addition to getting involved in the advocacy efforts noted above, you can also aid ADAO’s cause by signing up to participate in this year’s virtual Alton Miles for Meso race, which is set to begin this coming Saturday, Sept. 25 — the day before Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
For the eighth year in a row, all proceeds from the event will benefit ADAO. Last year’s race raised more than $30,000 for ADAO. In total, the race has brought $180,000 to the charitable organization over the last several years.
Late registration for the virtual event is still currently open. Wear your shirt on race day, race from anywhere, and connect with others on social media by using the hashtag #MilesforMeso.
Learn more at www.milesformeso.org/register.com.