Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Moment for Meso

If you're a regular reader here at AOCC, you're probably expecting a story about Jackson, Bitsy, or some other Sandmeier household norm--but today, that is not the case.

Today's post is about mesothelioma.

If you're like me, the extent of your mesothelioma knowledge comes from commercials for asbestos exposure lawsuits. Needless to say, there's much more to it than just that and that's what we'll be discussing today.

Every year, over 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma and are only given an average of 10 months to live--this was the case for Cameron Von St. James' wife, Heather. Here's a bit of their story from Cameron:   
How beautiful is this family?? (Source)
My wife, Heather Von St. James is a rare mesothelioma cancer survivor who beat the odds 8 years ago when she was given only 15 months to live. Heather was diagnosed just three months after giving birth to our daughter Lily. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, Heather is thriving more than ever! 

Heather has such an amazing story (and is an amazing woman for that matter) and beat the odds--here are a few facts to help educate you about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure:
  • Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancer in the US even more than 30 years after the peak of its use. 
  • No amount of asbestos exposure is safe. 
  • Symptoms may not appear until 30-60 years after initial exposure to asbestos. 
  • Asbestos can be found in many older homes, schools, factories, and commercial buildings. 
  • Men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than women.
For more information about asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, Heather Von St. James, and other survivors, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance's website (www.mesothelioma.com). My hope in writing this post is to educate those who, like me, didn't know much about this terrible disease--what is something you learned about mesothelioma? Why did it surprise you?

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