Last week I was contacted by a mother with cancer. She sent me this email:
“My name is Heather Von St. James and I’m reaching out to you today in hopes that you will help me with a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. At age 36, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma just 3 ½ months after my first and only child, Lily, was born. I was given just 15 months to live unless I underwent a drastic surgery to remove my left lung. Miraculously, I beat the odds and I’m still here eight years later.
“Asbestos is not banned in the US, yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma. I was exposed to asbestos through my father’s work jacket when I was just a little girl; my diagnosis came about 30 years later. Once diagnosed, most patients die within 2 years. I am one of few survivors who openly share their story and work to spread awareness regarding the dangers of asbestos.
“In honor of upcoming Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7), I have created a webpage dedicated to raising awareness. I would love it if you would be willing to share it on your blog to help educate and protect your readers from this preventable disease!
“Here’s the link to my awareness page: mesothelioma.com/heather/awareness“
Asbestos (the blue and brown varieties) was banned in the UK in 1985 and updated to ban all forms in 1999. Having been brought up with the knowledge that asbestos was incredibly dangerous, I could not believe that it wasn’t banned in the US. I’ve looked into it since and it really hasn’t and people are dying because of it.
If you go to Heather’s page, you can help spread her message by tweeting, facebooking and pinning!