Resource for Hope

Mesothelioma Survivors: Become a Resource for Hope

By Beth W. Prassel

If you’re a mesothelioma survivor, you are in the unique position of being able to encourage other patients.  You can make a significant difference in someone else’s life by demonstrating that it is possible to have mesothelioma and survive.

World-renowned mesothelioma specialist, Dr. David Sugarbaker, has said, “The fact that someone has gone through it, done it, speaks louder to patients than anything I or other so-called experts could say.”

Australian Paul Kraus is the longest-living survivor of mesothelioma. In the introduction of his book, Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide, he writes, “I spend a great deal of time trying to assist others who find themselves in my predicament.”

1. Get in Touch

Use the connections you already have with doctors’ offices or treatment centers. Leave your contact information with the proper personnel. When other patients need an encouraging word, they can be referred to you.

write it

2. Write About Your Experiences

Submit your story to magazines, newsletters or your local newspaper. You may even be qualified to write a book about your experience, like Kraus did.  But if you’re not a writer, let someone else do the writing.

3. Blog About It

Consider sharing your experiences through a personal blog or offer to blog for an appropriate website. Blogging lets you share with others on an ongoing basis, and creates a place you can offer support and help.

4. Connect to Others Online

Join internet forums and support groups where you can offer words of wisdom. Use Facebook or other social media to connect with patients. Let our website act as a liaison between you and those who need encouragement.

5. Sign Up for Events

Participating in or organizing cancer outreach events may appeal to you, as it did to Larry Davis. He raised awareness and research money by organizing the annual Miles for Mesothelioma road race in Boca Raton, Florida.

talk about it

6. Give Presentations

Survivors have inspired others through public speaking. Before her death, Janelle Bedel became a national spokesperson, instrumental in establishing September 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. You don’t have to be nationally recognized to share your story. Try to find groups who would gladly hear your message of hope.

7. Promote Positivity

One thing many mesothelioma survivors share is a positive attitude. When others look to you as an example, your determination and hope may be the greatest inspiration of all.


How You’ll Benefit

Clearly, when you participate in these or similar activities, other mesothelioma patients will benefit. But you’ll also reap benefits.

Intentional efforts to encourage others can contribute to a positive attitude, which, in turn, fuels your own health and longevity.  Many scientists and doctors, including those at the Mayo Clinic, agree that positive thinking plays a significant role in physical well-being.

One report links the progression of mesothelioma directly to a weakened immune system. In a recent article, Dr. Joseph Mercola cites a study which shows that positive interactions with others may strengthen your immune system. So, your efforts to bring hope to others may support your body’s continuing fight against mesothelioma.

No matter what method of support you choose, your interaction with others can become part of their healing process — and an integral part of your own.

Encouragement has become part of Kraus’ “journey of healing,” which, he says, revealed much about “living a more fulfilling and joyous life.”  Let your encouragement of others be a part of your journey, as well.