Taking a Moment for Mesothelioma: Heather's Story | Occasionally Crafty: Taking a Moment for Mesothelioma: Heather's Story

Wednesday, July 16

Taking a Moment for Mesothelioma: Heather's Story

Has cancer struck your family?
Chances are, if it hasn't yet, it will.  Each year 14 million people are diagnosed with some form of cancer.
My brother is a childhood leukemia survivor.  He overcame the odds and not only survived, but thrived!
Both my father and father-in-law have had prostate cancer.  My dad recently found that his may be recurring for the third time, and is in that difficult waiting period of testing and observing.
Recently I learned about a woman named Heather Von St. James, who was told shortly after giving birth in 2005 to her sweet daughter Lily, that she had mesothelioma and had 15 months to live.   You can learn more about her story here.
My daughter was also born in 2005.  I can't imagine looking into her sweet face and being told I would never see her talk, never see her grow older.  Miss her first school dance, her first kiss.  Her graduation.  Her wedding.
Luckily Heather got wonderful care and was able to beat the odds. Today she is an 8 year cancer survivor, and she and her family are doing their best to keep others from having to go through what she did.
You see, mesothelioma is preventable.  I'll say that again: mesothelioma is preventable.  It's only known case is exposure to asbestos.
As a child of the '80's, I certainly remember when things were closed down to remove asbestos from the walls and such.  Even our favorite shopping mall went through this transformation.  The companies that used asbestos knew as early as 1925 that asbestos was dangerous to the workers, to their families, and to the public. The companies commissioned medical studies that revealed these dangers. But the companies chose profits over safety and hid these studies. They provided no warnings about the dangers. As a result, thousands of Americans have been killed by asbestos.   

Amazingly, asbestos can still be found in buildings today. It can be found in older homes, schools, factories, and commercial buildings.

Shockingly, despite the known health risks, there is no ban on asbestos in the USA.  

Sadly, USA Veterans are most likely to develop mesothelioma.

I'm writing this post today simply to bring awareness.  Heather was blessed to beat the odds and see her little girl grow older.  Most victims of mesothelioma aren't as lucky.

Please share this with your friends, family, and readers.  Taking a "moment for 'meso'" spreads awareness to those who can help, and hope for those suffering through this cancer.

Click the photo to enlarge
mesothelioma infographic

If you feel inclined to help donate to research or awareness, you can reach out to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at www.mesothelioma.com
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