September 26 is National Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the U.S.
In 2014, it falls on a Friday, although many mesothelioma awareness-building activities are set to unfold over the following weekend.
You might be wondering how you can join in and lend your voice to this year’s countrywide chorus of Americans concerned about mesothelioma. It’s as deadly a cancer as any known to medical science.
Here are seven ways you can help make this year’s Mesothelioma Awareness Day the most meaningful yet.
1. Participate in a Mesothelioma Run
Various organizations dedicated to fighting mesothelioma plan to stage 2.5k and 5k runs to raise awareness, funds and spirits.
There are runs — and walks and even a kayak competition — scheduled to take place in New York, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and other states.
You can enter as a runner or walker. You can volunteer to help put on the race. Or you can simply stand along the race route cheering on the runners and walkers.
Some of them are mesothelioma victims who can use however much uplift and encouragement you might care to offer.
2. Fly the Flag at Half-Staff for Mesothelioma Victims
Many of mesothelioma’s victims have been men who served in the armed forces of the United States, the Navy especially.
A lot of these vets suffered their first exposure to asbestos — and were put on a collision course with mesothelioma — in the line of duty defending the nation.
If you normally fly a flag outside your home, consider lowering it to half-mast for the day to honor the memory of mesothelioma victims who wore the uniform.
Also consider approaching officials of the city or town where you live and asking them to do likewise.
3. Start a Social Media Conversation About Mesothelioma
Tell your friends on Facebook or your followers on Twitter how truly bad a cancer mesothelioma is.
Inform them that, without treatment, the typical patient dies within a few months of being diagnosed as a mesothelioma victim.
Share the fact that researchers working overtime have come up with mesothelioma treatments capable of extending a victim’s life, sometimes by years.
Get out the word that mesothelioma patients need to know people care about them.
4. Support Mesothelioma Research
While you’ve got a Facebook conversation going or are firing off Tweets, you might mention that mesothelioma research is a very worthy cause.
You might talk up the fact that mesothelioma research is deserving of as much generous support as a person can muster.
So encourage your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to open their checkbooks on September 26 and make a donation to their nearest mesothelioma research center.
5. Pray for the Victims of Mesothelioma
Never underestimate the power of prayer, especially when brought to bear against a disease as horrific as mesothelioma.
Pray for the victims and also for those who are risk of developing mesothelioma.
6. Understand What Mesothelioma Is All About
Devote time to learning everything you can about mesothelioma.
It’s a disease that can strike anybody who has ever been around asbestos. Don’t think you haven’t been exposed to asbestos.
The mineral was once widely used in everything from floors to ceilings — and in a great many products occupying the space in between.
To get up to speed in a hurry about mesothelioma, consider attending one of the big mesothelioma conferences scheduled on and around September 26.
The biggest will be in Philadelphia. It’s set to feature speakers from a number of the top mesothelioma treatment centers in the United States
7. See a Mesothelioma Specialist
If you don’t have mesothelioma but know or believe that you were exposed to asbestos at some point in your past, Sept. 26 would be a perfect day to go see a mesothelioma specialist for a thorough checkup.
The key to surviving mesothelioma for the longest time possible is to catch the disease when it’s in the earliest stages of onset.
You can’t catch it early unless you have a mesothelioma diagnosis. And the only way you can get one of those is if you see a mesothelioma doctor.