Larry Davis

Courtesy The Globe

Road to Recovery

Lawrence Wright Davis, who usually goes by Larry, grew up in the small New England state of Connecticut. He was born in the midst of the industrial era. The youngest of 3, he was always charging ahead to keep up with his big brother and sister … I suppose that is why he became such a committed runner. In high school he set school records on his home track and in 1978 he ran his 1st marathon.

At an early age his daughter, Courtney, ran along side him in various fun runs and 5Ks. She watched him run in the longer road races all over New England and New York.

In 1997, Larry took his show on the road moving to southern Florida. Where he began a business venture, Extreme Eyewear, and continued his love of running. This is literally where he ran into his lovely wife, Carol, who shares his passion for the sport. Together they compete in races all over Florida and California. Larry and Carol have recently broadened their commitment to exercise and healthy living by taking up swimming and biking. In 2010 the couple competed in their 1st triathlon.

With his commitment to running and exercise, it came as a shock to the whole family when Larry was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006. A rare disease called Mesothelioma was found in the lining of his lower internal organs. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. There is no known cure at this time.

After a few months of severe pain, tremendous discomfort and no running, Larry made some surprising decisions. He decided to go against the doctor’s suggestions of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Instead he opted to run, drink healthy organic natural vitamin blends and focus on more positive things.

One of the most positive things he has turned his attention to, becoming a race director. He has now completed organizing 2 official races. As RD of the 2010 & 2011 South Florida Wishing Well Miles For Meso 8K & 4K Tribute Walk he set some very high goals; to educate and inspire Floridians and visitors to join in the fight against the use of asbestos. The events raised more than $45,000 to benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and he continues to raise the all important awareness of this deadly disease. Wesimmons consider this a major victory for Larry and for the hundreds of people living for a cure.

Larry Davis continues to inspire so many people suffering from the effects of Mesothelioma. It has been years since his original diagnosis. He has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and also undergone a progressive tumor removal surgery with Dr. H. Richard Alexander at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. All the while he continues to bring awareness to politicians who think asbestos has been fully banned, to help victims and familes suffering from the heartbreak of death and misinformation, and he will continue to raise money for research to help all those affected. And to me, his daughter, he will always be a remarkable father. ~ Courtney Ann Davis

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What do Merlin Olsen, Steve McQueen, admiral Elmo  Zumwalt, Jr,USN, Warren Zevon and the firefighters and heroes’ of 911 have in common with Mesothelioma Victim Larry Davis ?  They all have the unenviable distinction of being exposed to deadly Asbestos fibers. After inhaling microscopic asbestos fiber which is the only known cause of Mesothelioma Cancer, it usually takes from 10 to 50 years before it is diagnosed. The life expectancy then becomes months and sometimes years of suffering. I am one of the lucky ones that have out lived my fatal diagnosis of six months to live. Merlin, Steve, Warren, and many others have not been as fortunate.Since the 1950’s asbestos has been known to be a killer and today after 100,000’s of deaths our Government still has not banned its use, nor meaningfully controlled the export and importation of Asbestos products in the USA. That puts the USA in a category with only a hand full of countries that have not Banned ASBESTOS.  The major exporters and manufactures of this deadly mineral for profit at the expense of human life are. CHINA, RUSSIA, Canada, and “Uncle Sam”, himself the USA. This disease has changed my life in many ways. I first found that the Medical profession and Hospitals know very little about how to diagnose and treat Mesothelioma. My general internal medicine doctor had told me I had a hernia. If you are women, usually the diagnosis is ovarian cancer and not until surgery is it determines that you have Mesothelioma.  There is very little effective treatment available for this orphan disease. And funding for research is less almost nothing. There are however, two non-profits foundations that have taken on the task of improving treatments and supporting the rights of Mesothelioma patients. They are the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, www. Curemeso.org, that funds research for better treatments and believe in finding a cure and helping victims and families, the other is the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is an independent organization founded by Linda Reinstein and Doug Larkin on April 1, 2004.

I have taken the fight to the streets with the http://www.southfloridamilesformeso.com Race/Run/Walk to raise asbestos awareness and research for mesothelioma.

– Larry Davis

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