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Mesothelioma Awareness Day Sheds Light on Deadly Cancer

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) September 28, 2013

September 26th was Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) and its supporters marked this day by holding more than 20 fundraising and awareness events, organizing a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, by participating on Rockefeller Plaza as part of the Today show audience, through a social media campaign, and through many other grassroots efforts.

The Foundation and its volunteers believe that educating the public about mesothelioma, the lives it affects and the lives it has taken, the lack of funding for mesothelioma research, and the need for effective treatments is an important step in engaging society’s help in eradicating this cancer and the suffering caused by it.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day was created in 2004 by a group of Meso Foundation volunteers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2005, the first large-scale awareness campaign was launched through the Meso Foundation. The campaign, which was very successful, involved contacting radio stations to request a song by Warren Zevon, a rock musician who died of mesothelioma in 2003.

Each year since its creation, Mesothelioma Awareness Day has grown larger and more widely-recognized. Most recently, in 2012, Meso Foundation volunteers organized 15 events, raised over $120,000 and were covered by 11 news outlets. A full accounting of the 2013 proceeds and overview of media coverage will be tallied following this weekend’s events.

This year as well as in years past, the Meso Foundation has been leading a campaign to encourage individuals to request permanent proclamations for Mesothelioma Awareness Day in their home state. So far, it has resulted in 12 permanent state proclamations, plus many more annual state, county and city ones. In 2009, at the request of the Meso Foundation, the U.S. Senate passed a bill introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (WA) to designate September 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. In 2010, Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives. On November 29, 2010, the House declared September 26th as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart, and is known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. Approximately 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year and an estimated one-third were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in Navy shipyards.

About the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by it. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer reviewed scientific research to establish more effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this rare, but extremely aggressive, cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $8.2 million to research.

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