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National Mesothelioma Awareness Day

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

On the eve of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day I want to take a moment to share with you a few touching tales from my past weekend.

When I was invited to the Simmons Law 4th Annual Miles For Meso event in Alton, Illinois I was truly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile event. I didn’t have any idea the effect it would have on me as my father’s daughter, my father being a victim of Mesothelioma, and paying the ultimate price this past July.

I went intending to run, or at least walk, the 5K course, most likely thinking of my dad as he had run the route last year. I wasn’t planning on learning how much he’d effected others in attendance. I didn’t realize there would be a moment of silence to reflect on all that this man, my dad, had brought to the Meso community … and all that he had taken when he left. As Mary Hesdorffer said, “He took up a lot of space.” Yes, yes he did. And there is a huge hole where he once was.

I don’t think that hole will ever be filled, especially in regards to all that he took on in his battle with this disease. I, however, have other memories now, through the eyes and the words of the people I met this past weekend in Alton.

In addition to the condolences and the well wishes, I also had the opportunity to answer questions dealing only with my dad, this disease and how he tried to change the face of it. It was better than any conversation I’d had with anyone since his death. It was totally focused on him and my memories of him and the questions were well rounded and completely in tune with all that he was up against. I tend to only do interviews in hopes of getting his word out and awareness up and I don’t mind admitting I was hesitant on what I would say and how I would say it. I even apologized before the interview for any inability to speak clearly or concisely. But when it was said and done, and the tears were streaming down my face, it was something that no therapist or friend could’ve asked about. And somewhere in the run and in the interview and in the faces of the friends my father met along his terrible, heartbreaking journey, I found a little bit of peace.

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BAN ASBESTOS NOW/Did you know:

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

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Simmon’s M4M Donations

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

This is all very last minute, but I am going to try to run this year’s Mile For Meso Alton race. My father ran it last year and I’ve been invited to attend this year. As you read in my previous post, I’ve only just started running again. I know I can make it through, whether I run the whole 5K or not is an entirely different matter. Since I’ve been invited up, I’m now blaming my training and running this weekend on Mark M, Amy and the whole Simmons team. I hope I don’t embarrass myself.

When you sign up for the race a donations page is created. I realize that since my dad’s death at the beginning of July I’ve posted all kinds of places to give  to his scholarship and to his immunotherapy grant and so on. Well, here’s one more plea for funds … but this time it’s for me. I have 3 days before I run and I’d love to hear from you. There are different tiers to how fast I take on this race:

Walk $25

Jog $50

Run $100

Sprint $250

Burn Rubber $500

And let’s be honest, I have about 2 speeds. Like I told my dad as he was pulling away from me in our triathlon last year, “I have slow and a little bit faster’. (Keep in mind I waited on him to finish in the pool AND on our bikes so it was his duty to slow it down in the run!!)  There’s also an ‘Other’ category. Feel free to write me and tell me to skip, sing (no body wants that!), hop (I surely don’t want that!), charleston (dance moves) or whatever. You’ll have to post it on my facebook page or here on our AAAbestos page so I know what I’m supposed to do. I’ll try to take my phone and record your various requests, if there are any, and post them after completion.

No donation is too small and I will try to honor all requests as long as I’m not breaking an decency or legal laws.
See you in Alton!!

Donate here

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New Shoes

September 14, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been 75 days since my father died of complications as a result of Mesothelioma, a horrible disease caused by the body’s inability to protect itself from the harm of asbestos.

It had also been 75 days since I ran, a favorite pastime of my dad’s. In fact I’d even given away my running shoes. Dad had bought them for me a year before. We’d gone into Running Wild in Fort Lauderdale, FL  just before he’d brought me back to the airport after Thanksgiving. I’d run along side him in our Father’s Day triathlon in those shoes. I’d run in one of our favorite towns (Newport, RI) in those shoes and trained in those shoes. When he was gone, so were my shoes.

Here’s the trouble … dad loved when I ran. He especially loved that I started competing in triathlons. I’ve got one scheduled for October, which is ridiculously close. I’ve also been given the opportunity by the great folks at Simmons Law to head up to Alton, IL for their annual Miles for Meso race. Dad & his wife went last year. This year they’re going to say a few words to honor him. I’m super excited to be there for that, but I would like to run in their race too. Of course there’s still the no sneakers thing, until Sunday that was, when I finally bought a new pair.

my new asics

And then I ran. It’s a really strange feeling running. Running and being ridiculously out of shape (I hadn’t done anything since he died). Running and having new sneakers. But mostly running and not being able to call my dad and tell him I’m finally running again.

The good news is I am running again (and eating which is also helpful). The better news is I’ll be able to be with our friends

dad’s sneaks, a pic from our tri

who are also fighting the Meso battle with this trip to Alton. And the great news is that wherever dad is in the after-life, I’m hoping he’ll see that I didn’t give up and that I will keep running for him.

~Courtney A Davis

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Mesothelioma Awareness Day & Day 2

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Join us on the Plaza on September 26 and/or the 28! Raise awareness of mesothelioma and the Meso Foundation with an appearance in the audience of the Today Show!

On this year’s Meso Awareness Day, Wednesday, September 26, Meso Foundation volunteers will once again meet on Rockefeller Plaza during the airing of the Today Show to raise awareness of mesothelioma and of the Meso Foundation and its services. Also, on September 28 we will meet again to allow attendees of the Friday’s conference to have their presence felt and their voices heard, and to allow our Jewish constituents to do the same (September 26 is Yom Kippur).

Listed below is the schedule of events during the week of Meso Awareness Day. You may choose to participate in any one of the events. Please RSVP here to let us know which events you plan on attending. We have also compiled a list of hotels in the area to help you make your travel arrangements.

Wednesday, September 26 at 5:45 AM — we will meet on Rockefeller Plaza. We will be there starting at 5:45 AM, but won’t be able to hold spots. To ensure you get a good spot, make sure you get there early. If you don’t have your yellow curemeso t-shirt, you can get one that morning from the Meso Foundation staff. On Wednesday morning we will also distribute pre-made signs on a first-come first-serve basis.

WHAT: Today Show
WHEN: September 26, 2012 at 5:45 AM (show starts at 7 AM)
WHY: To raise awareness of mesothelioma and the Meso Foundation
WHERE: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, between 48th and 49th Street

Thursday, September 27 at 6 PM — meet the Meso Foundation staff and volunteers for a bite to eat and to mingle. The Meso Foundation will be making reservations for everyone, but each attendee will be responsible for their meal and drinks.

Bill’s Bar and Burger Rockefeller Center
16 West 51st Street at 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10019
www.billsbarandburger.com
212.705.8510

Friday, September 28 at 5:45 AM — we will once again meet on Rockefeller Plaza. We will be there starting at 5:45 AM, but won’t be able to hold spots. To ensure you get a good spot, make sure you get there early. If you don’t have your yellow curemeso t-shirt, make sure to get one that morning from the Meso Foundation staff. On Friday morning we will also distribute pre-made signs on a first-come first-serve basis.

RSVP here to attend either of the Rockefeller Plaza events and/or the dinner at Bill’s Bar and Burger.

Friday, September 28 at 9 AM — The conference “Knowledge is Hope” on malignant mesothelioma will begin at the Harvard Club in New York City. More information and registration form is available at www.curemeso.org/knowledge.

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