Written by Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

Industry Spotlight: Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

As a company committed to inspiring excellence we are happy to recognize and support organizations that share common values.  Today is Mesothelioma Cancer Awareness Day, so what better day to spotlight the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance for their work in supporting and educating people about mesothelioma and advocating for an asbestos ban in the Untied states.  We are thrilled to spotlight both the organization and to share the story of a survivor.  Be sure to check out related blogs:

Meet Heather…Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor!

Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma at the young age of 36!  Today she is a 12-year cancer survivor and she has made it her mission to spread hope and awareness to others.

Diagnosis

Heather was only 36 years old when she received the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.  She had just given birth to her beautiful daughter, just three months earlier.  Not a diagnosis she ever dreamed was possible for her to receive!  After many months of treatment and a extrapleural pneumonectomy she beat the cancer and is now an twelve-year survivor!!

How does a 36 year old woman get mesothelioma cancer?!

But wait a minute, isn’t mesothelioma a cancer caused by asbestos?  How the heck does a wife and mom get exposed to asbestos.  The story is heartbreaking and all too familiar.  When Heather was a little girl, she would wait for her father to get home from work.  When he did, for fun, she would dress up in his work jacket.  This playful and affectionate act, of dressing in her fathers coat, is how she unknowingly was exposed to asbestos dust.  She breathed in the fibers, without ever realizing it!

How did you get involved with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance (MCA)?

Heather working with the MCA 6 years after her diagnosis, and treatment for mesothelioma. She knew she wanted to help people and share her story of hope, and the MCA provided her with the platform with which to do that.  In her work with the MCA, she has been able to share her story and inspire mesothelioma patients, and their families all over the world.  She continues to work with patients and caregivers as a patient advocate to help cancer patients through their diagnosis, treatment and life after cancer.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

We had the pleasure of interviewing David Hass, the Community Outreach Coordinator at MCA to get a better idea of the organization and the services provided.

Tell us about the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Our mission, as a leading authority on this topic, is to continually provide relevant, timely, and factual information about asbestos exposure and its causal links to mesothelioma cancer.  The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance provides resource for individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and their families.

Our editorial team is comprised of a group of dedicated professionals committed to developing a comprehensive source of support, educational information, and inspiration for those suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. We are grateful to be able to serve in this way and will continue to honor our commitment as a trusted resource

Goals of the Alliance?

Our overall goal is to provide an informative platform to those that are diagnosed with mesothelioma. We have been able to connect with people who are fighting this horrible cancer and provide them with necessary resources, so they can make informed decisions about treatment options, clinical trials, and develop a further understanding of this form of cancer.

What services / products do you offer?

We provide information about mesothelioma, its symptoms and treatment options. We are also pushing for a complete asbestos ban in the United States. We aim to inform people about the health risks related from exposure to the carcinogen, why asbestos was initially used and where it can be found in homes, schools, buildings etc.  We also provide a free treatment guide  that provides a wealth of information including finding doctors, cancer centers, disease information, legal rights, etc.

Why do you provide these services?

We provide these services because we believe that nobody should have to suffer from cancer alone. Awareness efforts are incredibly important because the cancer is preventable.  That’s why sharing information about asbestos exposure is very important as it is the leading cause of mesothelioma and asbestosis (a lung disease caused by asbestos).  What drives us to keep pushing for more awareness is remembering that every patient has a face and a name and deserves the best care.  Patients like Heather Von St. James and the hundreds of other patients.

Summary

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance provides support, resources and education to cancer patients during the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma.  By helping the community understand these services are available we hope to help more patients beat this cancer and be able to share a success survivor story, just like Heather!  Read about how Echocardiography plays a role in mesothelioma diagnosis in this weeks echo blog.

Check out past Industry Spotlights!

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Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

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