|Cameron, Lily and Heather Von St. James|
We know the main cause of Mesothelioma: asbestos. I’ve always known about asbestos, and I work around asbestos-laden areas every day (it is contained). I’m continually amazed at how such a ubiquitous material was widely used back in “my” day - the 70's - and was once used in consumer products that included household items such as toasters and hair dryers.
You could still be using a toaster that has asbestos in it.
The most unfortunate part is that asbestos can reside in the body for YEARS and mesothelioma will lie dormant in the body for 20-50 years after someone is exposed to asbestos. And, just like with Ovarian Cancer, the symptoms of Mesothelioma are subtle and can be misinterpreted or all too frequently ignored or dismissed by people who are inclined to attribute them to common every day ailments: chronic cough, back pain, shortness of breath.
I feel that if I can help spread awareness about cancer, then someone else can also add their voice to the collective and hopefully we can prompt people to pay attention to their body and know the signs before a cancer gets out of control. Some cancers are preventable and can be eradicated if caught early.
Heather has a great story – www.mesothelioma.com/heather - and it encourages me that there are many stories of hope out there just like Heather's and my mom's. It is Heather and her husband Cameron’s mission to reach out and ask people to spread the message about mesothelioma awareness to prevent this from happening to another family.
And if the unavoidable happens, then sharing information about other cancer success stories can give people hope. As I have learned with my mom's story, hope can mean all the difference.