October 10, 2016
BENEFITING: MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION INC
EVENT: RIDE & RUN FOR MESOTHELIOMA
EVENT DATE: Oct 23, 2016
In December of 2015, my mom sat me down and told me that dad, Joe, may have lung cancer. He never smoked, ever. He exercised everyday. I was shocked and confused and sure it was a mistake. A few days later, on Christmas Eve, we found out that it was no mistake. My dad had Mesothelioma, a terminal, aggressive disease that has no cure.
In January, just a few weeks after that, we found out that he had Stage 4 Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Chemo started that same week. He was doing great. He and I took a trip to Florida in March and went to the beach, kayaked, biked, and chatted. In late August, the tumors in his abdomen started putting so much pressure on his intestines that he stopped being able to digest food. On September 7, he died. My kind, generous, funny, smart, loving, animated dad was gone.
During summer vacations when he was 15-20 years old, my dad worked in a pipe fitting factory to help his family make ends meet. The company who owned the factory lowered him and his young coworkers into vats to scrape asbestos off the walls, with no protection other than thin paper face masks. The company knew the risks, but Joe and the other workers did not, and they were very cheap to employ.
In the many years following, my dad did a ton! Pharmacy school, a black belt in Karate, becoming a pretty good surfer living in Florida, and meeting and marrying my mom. He loved being a Toxicologist, and he continued working until September, 2016.
My dad was 40 when I was born, and my mom was 39. Being "older" parents inspired them rather than slowed them down. Up until last Fall, my dad would go for daily 1.5 hour mountain bike rides while my mom hiked with their beloved German Shepherd, Lena. Bike rides were replaced with cross country skiing in the Winter. They are incredible, healthy, vital role models.
This cancer is not a mystery. There's no room for pondering "why this happened". My dad died because he was poisoned. Right from diagnosis, we knew it was terminal - no chance for remission, nonetheless a cure - and that is just unacceptable.
After helplessly watching my dad fall victim to this disease, I feel it is my responsibility to become active in spreading awareness and finding a cure.
Please join us at Phileo Method in Phoenixville, PA on Sunday October 23 from 12-3pm.