New Mesothelioma Peer-to-Peer Support Program Unveiled by National Foundation

This week, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation unveiled its newest support program, MesoConnect, aimed at helping mesothelioma patients and their families combat isolation by connecting them with peers who have already been through a similar experience.

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This service can be helpful during all stages of a mesothelioma diagnosis

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) April 29, 2014

This week, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) unveiled its newest support program, Meso-Connect, a peer-to-peer support system, aimed at helping mesothelioma patients and their families combat isolation by connecting them with peers who have are going through a similar experience.

Due to the rarity of mesothelioma (3,500 patients diagnosed each year in the United States) and the aggressive nature of this cancer, most patients feel alone in their fight. For mesothelioma patients, even just obtaining a diagnosis can often be a long process. Finding a specialist and the prospect of drastic surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation can be even more daunting. For this reason, the Meso Foundation has developed Meso-Connect, a peer-to-peer support system for mesothelioma patients and their families. Through Meso-Connect, the Foundation identifies and connects the patient and/or their caregiver with members of the mesothelioma community who "have been there, and have done that." All participants in the program are carefully screened to ensure a safe experience and fit. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org/mesoconnect.

“This service can be helpful during all stages of a mesothelioma diagnosis,” said Mary Hesdorffer, Meso Foundation’s executive director and expert nurse practitioner.

For a patient in the early stages of surgical recovery, for example, speaking with a peer who has successfully recovered may provide hope and inspiration.

“Knowing that someone else has gone through a similarly grueling experience makes patients and their families know that it can be done,” added Ms. Hesdorffer.

The program is also beneficial for those members of the mesothelioma community who choose to be on the helping side. Speaking with patients who need guidance can provide them with a sense of purpose, and can serve as a reminder of their own progress.

This service is also available to caregivers, as well as those who have lost a loved one to meso.

To participate in the MesoConnect program, either as someone receiving help or as someone providing help, patients and families must first register. Once signed up, each participant will be thoroughly screened. Those registrants who indicate they are willing to help others will receive training and guidance prior to their assignment. All participants are expected to comply with the terms, rules, and regulations of the program.

The Meso Foundation provides many other patient services which include guidance by expert nurse practitioner with nearly two decades of experience treating mesothelioma, annual and regional conferences, support groups, and live and recorded interviews with mesothelioma experts. All services are outlined at http://www.curemeso.org/treatmenthelp.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer reviewed scientific research to establish effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $8.7 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.