Veterans make up about one-third of all mesothelioma victims. As such, they are a central part of Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Founded by Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) volunteers, Mesothelioma Awareness Day was created to support those struggling with this rare cancer. From wearing blue to hosting a fundraising event in a veteran’s honor, there are many ways to celebrate veterans on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
Veterans and Mesothelioma Awareness
Mesothelioma Awareness Day was started in 2004 by volunteers at the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating mesothelioma.
Since then, every 26th of September has been a day to show support for veterans and others with mesothelioma by giving monetary and emotional support and spreading awareness about this aggressive disease.
With veterans making up roughly one-third of all mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States, Mesothelioma Awareness Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a veteran with mesothelioma in your life or to honor a lost loved one.
Show your support in 2019 with one — or more — of these ideas.
Spread Mesothelioma Awareness
The first thing you can do to honor veterans with mesothelioma on Mesothelioma Awareness Day is simply to spread awareness about their condition.
You can spread awareness by:
- Sharing information: Share a short video or infographic about mesothelioma and how it disproportionately affects veterans.
- Sharing a loved one’s story: Sensitively discussing the story of a veteran with mesothelioma is a more personal and heartfelt way to reach others in your community.
- Contacting a local organization or news station: Contact those who can reach more people than you can, and ask them to talk about Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
Wear the Mesothelioma Awareness Color
The official color of Mesothelioma Awareness Day is blue, and wearing it is a simple way to show support for mesothelioma victims.
To increase awareness, take a group picture with friends and family wearing blue, and post it on social media.
You can also support the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation by purchasing mesothelioma-specific blue T-shirts or pins.
Donate or Organize a Mesothelioma Fundraiser
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and other organizations are constantly in need of funding to support mesothelioma treatment research, provide treatment support and education, and advocate for federal research funding.
You can donate individually or hold a veteran-themed fundraiser in a loved one’s honor — in person or as a tribute page.
Volunteer at a Mesothelioma or Veterans Nonprofit
Many non-profit organizations rely on volunteers, and there are several ways to get involved on Mesothelioma Awareness Day.
Help Ban Asbestos
Asbestos is the only proven cause of mesothelioma. Not knowing the dangers of this mineral, the military used asbestos heavily in all of its branches.
Although asbestos use has decreased dramatically in the United States since asbestos companies were forced to admit its dangerous effects, asbestos has not been banned.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day is the perfect time to make others aware of this fact and to help eliminate the use of mesothelioma’s only known cause by contacting your state elected officials.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
One of the most impactful things you can do to support veterans on any day is to spend quality time with them.
Spend time with veterans by:
- Organizing a special event: Gather family and friends at home or somewhere your loved one would like to visit, share stories, and celebrate their strength and bravery.
- Organizing a visit: For less mobile veterans, bring family and friends to them at a senior living facility, hospital, or hospice care.
- Reaching out: Even if you cannot physically be with a loved one, set up a phone or video call, send a care basket, or have friends and family make a card.
- Remembering them: To honor the memories of a veteran who has passed away due to mesothelioma, visit your loved one’s final resting place and share memories.
- Visiting at VA Center: Many older and incapacitated veterans would greatly appreciate extra company and acknowledgment.
Celebrate Veterans This Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Mesothelioma Awareness Day is about spreading awareness and, hopefully, finding a cure for mesothelioma — but it is also about celebrating and honoring loved ones with mesothelioma, whether they have passed away or are still with us.
If you know a veteran with mesothelioma, take the time this Mesothelioma Awareness Day to show your love, support, and appreciation.