This past month, VIC’s director Dr. Mark Poznansky, was joined by Erin Brockovich and host Dan Loney for a segment on Knowledge @Wharton (Sirius XM) discussing the challenges and opportunities facing research around mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer that affects 3,000 Americans each year.
Dr. Poznansky and Ms. Brockovich joined the radio program in recognition of Mesothelioma Awareness Day, which was established by Meso Foundation volunteers in 2004 and has been a driving force behind the movement to bring more attention and funding to this cancer.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that forms on the thin protective tissues that cover the lungs and abdomen. While there has been progress made in recent years, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma. The disease is typically found after people are exposed to asbestos in old buildings and industrial settings – notably public buildings, shipyards and schools. Our serving military and veterans are particularly affected.
In his conversation with Erin and Dan, Dr. Poznansky highlighted the opportunity we have today to make dramatic progress with research around mesothelioma. He said, “The age that we live in is transformative with regards to accelerated developments for curing diseases – the potential to do that is here and now. Harnessing the resources of the public and private domain requires people […] to get out there and do what they do – whether they are scientists, patients and families looking to make the difference.”
VIC is currently conducting research which focuses on stimulating immune functions to help prolong the lives of those with Mesothelioma. Initial tests have proven positive. In support of this effort, the law firm Weitz and Luxenberg organized the “iWalk4MESO” campaign to raise funds and awareness for VIC’s work. Weitz & Luxenberg is generously matching any funds raised by those participating in iWalk4MESO.
“The money we raise through iWalk4MESO will help accelerate this research. Hopefully, prolonging the lives of mesothelioma victims and enhancing the quality of their remaining years.” – Weitz and Luxenberg
Participating in the iWalk4MESO campaign is easy. All you have to do is walk anytime you want, anywhere you want, for as long as you want. Download and print out the iWalk4MESO sign or create your own. After you’ve got your sign, take a picture of yourself holding it while you’re walking or running. Post to the iWalk4MESO Facebook group page. www.facebook.com/groups/iwalk4meso and include the hashtags: #iWalk4MESO, #MesotheliomaAwarenessDay and #EndMeso.
For every post we get on that page, Weitz & Luxenberg will generously donate money for medical research — up to $25,000! From there, post the picture to your own Facebook page with those hashtags, and tag three other people to challenge them to do the same.
On behalf of all of VIC and MGH, we’d like to thank the team at Weitz & Luxenberg for all their support.
If you’d like to learn more about VIC’s work or about research around Mesothelioma, you can listen to Dr. Poznansky’s full segment on Wharton Radio here under the “Fighting Mesothelioma” header.
This fundraising effort is ongoing so if you wish to contribute to support VIC then please do so at Mass General’s iwalk4MESO donation page