Meso Foundation Continues Tireless Efforts for More Visibility and Funding for Mesothelioma Cancer Research

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In the fight against mesothelioma, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation devotes important time and effort to advocacy activities which are imperative in raising awareness of the mesothelioma cancer, and increasing funding for development of new mesothelioma treatment protocols.

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Logo

Our advocates have taken the initiative to raise awareness on Capitol Hill and across the country, with each effort taking us a step closer to our goal of ending the mesothelioma tragedy.

In 2011, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has continued its work toward accomplishing its mission to eradicate mesothelioma (and the suffering caused by it) as a life ending disease. In conjunction with its established, one-of-a-kind, research program (which funded over $7.1 million in mesothelioma research since the organization’s inception) and its popular patient services program, the Meso Foundation regularly advocates on Capitol Hill for increased federal funding of this often ignored cancer. In addition, the organization leads its constituents in an organized effort to raise awareness locally in its supporters’ cities, towns, counties and states.

This year, as a way to amplify the organization’s voice, the Meso Foundation joined several national medical research coalitions including the Friends of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Foundation also worked with staffers from the New York Congressional delegation to urge the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to include cancer as a covered disease in the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program.

The members of the mesothelioma community came together in Washington on Advocacy Day, which was held in conjunction with the annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, with 55 advocates visiting an astounding 73 offices. Additionally, mesothelioma patient, Mike Clements, gave a moving account of his experience with mesothelioma at a briefing for Congressional staffers. As a young man serving his country in the Navy and working hard Mike never expected that years later, as a direct result of his work and service, he would face a devastating mesothelioma diagnosis just as he was beginning to enjoy his retirement.

Adding to the effort was the Foundation’s medical liaison Mary Hesdorffer, who testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on the importance of continuing to include mesothelioma as an eligible disease in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Fiscal Year 2012.

September 26 once again marked Mesothelioma Awareness Day. As they have been doing since 2004, this year mesothelioma community volunteers secured proclamations in Alexandria, VA; Culver City, CA; Fairfax County, VA; Kansas City, MO and Union County, NJ. “I was extremely pleased that Fairfax County decided to recognize Mesothelioma Awareness Day,” said advocate Robena Reid, who lost her mother to mesothelioma. “I hope that this will grow into an annual event to educate people about the need for increased funding for research.”

“Our advocates have taken the initiative to raise awareness on Capitol Hill and across the country,” said Meso Foundation’s executive director Kathy Wiedemer “with each effort taking us a step closer to our goal of ending the mesothelioma tragedy.”

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the leading organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma as a life-ending cancer by funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research, providing patient support services and education, and advocating Congress for increased federal funding for research. Mesothelioma funding, per death, has historically been extremely low, and even as recently as 2007, the NCI reported that mesothelioma receives as little as 9 times less funding than other cancers. The Meso Foundation was founded in 2000 to address this imbalance and since then has independently funded over $7.1 million in peer-reviewed mesothelioma research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.

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