When was the last time you thought about Mesothelioma?

Well, friends, I’m taking a short break from “day in the life” and posts about my adventures to talk about something important.

Cancer is such a deeply terrible thing. I’ve written about it many times, most notably about Rachael’s battle with melanoma and our Olivia Act winner, the Soba family- regarding Alexis’ battle with Glioblastoma (PS, Alexis had another surgery on Tuesday- please say a few prayers for her, her family, and the doctors).

Today is the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

As an average 20-something American girl, I hadn’t given mesothelioma a second thought, other than seeing those increasingly annoying ads for lawyers looking for people with mesothelioma. Sure, one of the perks of having my office at home is that I get to watch daytime television on my lunch break, but all I see are ads for house cleaning products, anti-aging miracle workers, and the faces of aggressive lawyers, looking for new clients. Those ads are the reason that I know that the only known cause for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

Of course, in all the remodeling that we’ve done of our very old home, I thought about finding asbestos in the walls. I didn’t worry about it much, though… Our house was mostly too old to have asbestos, except in the additions. Plus, I stupidly thought, “Asbestos? I’d know it if I saw it, right?” Actually, no… asbestos fibers are too small to see with the naked eye.

When I went up to the Penokee Hills in northern Wisconsin to look at the proposed GTac mine site, a geologist showed me some rocks containing asbestos. Asbestos is actually a group of minerals that all contain those long, thin fibrous crystals. The presence of asbestos in those rocks makes this area a very dangerous place to create an open pit mine… along with a bunch of other reasons that it’s a terrible idea.

There is a lot of information out there about asbestos and mesothelioma, and I’ll link to some resources for you at the end of this post. There are a couple facts that really opened my eyes that I’d like to share.

-This year, 10,000 Americans will die of asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
-Asbestos was once used in common household items such as toasters, hair dryers, and over 3,000 consumer products.
-Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity (the mesothelium), and the only known cause is exposure to asbestos.
-Asbestos exposure was first linked to mesothelioma in 1964, and worldwide mesothelioma cases are expected to reach their peak around 2020.

Friends, we need to take care of ourselves. Please start some conversations about cancer, including mesothelioma. I was lucky enough to have been contacted by the Von St. James family to ask for help in spreading the word. Heather Von St. James is a proud and beautiful mesothelioma survivor (with one lung!), and I’m happy to share this information with everyone on her behalf! You can read more about Heather here: Heather’s Story

…And you can find information on mesothelioma at www.mesothelioma.com

I love you all. Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 407.95

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