Organizations engage in cancer awareness

Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

On Sept. 26, people throughout the country took to Twitter to celebrate the 13th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day with a tweetchat hosted by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

Moderated by the organizations Less Cancer (@LessCancer), Colombia Sin Asbestos (@AnaCNio), and the “Steve McQueen: American Icon” film team (@McQueen Event), the hourlong event ran from noon to 1 p.m.

Twitter users were able to join the chat and learn about the disease and asbestos through the #ENDMeso tag.

A diverse selection of patients, advocates, survivors, organizations and professionals informed others about this rare form of cancer by sharing their experiences with the disease.

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, Schneider Labs and the Mesothelioma Asbestos Awareness Center were among the many organizations that shared their own content and participated in the discussion.

Emily Walsh, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance outreach director, was impressed with the turnout for the event and the amount of original content that was shared.

“The day was a great step toward success in our opinion. There was an amazing rate of participation from tons of organizations and individuals,” said Walsh. “We were lucky enough to see many organizations put out their own content as well.”

Conversation was prompted by a list of five questions regarding how to raise awareness, what newly diagnosed patients should know, where to find helpful resources, where to find strength and what life lessons mesothelioma teaches.

“We hope people got to learn about the different dangers of asbestos, how asbestos can still pose a huge health threat today and hear some stories from survivors on what they went through,” said Walsh. “The fact that people took time out of their businesses and personal days to join in this event and spread awareness is amazing.”

Although the event came to a close in the early afternoon, awareness efforts are far from over. Participating organizations will continue to promote mesothelioma and asbestos awareness throughout the year in hope that there will never again be a need for an event or awareness day.

“We hope this will continue in future years and encourage more and more people to join so that the awareness can keep growing,” Walsh said.