May 17, 2013

Heather's Story; Mesothelioma Prevention

I've been noticing a lot of my friends are now at the stage in their lives where they are getting their first houses or renovating their current homes. Which is awesome - I love looking at people's pictures of their renovations! I've noticed also that most people are taking the home redos into their own hands and doing it all themselves! Well, I'll take this moment to be really motherly and tell you all to keep your exposure to insulating materials to a minimum! A lot of our materials are made of asbestos. I had never heard of this either, but asbestos is a strong, fire resistant, flexible and great thermal insulator, therefore used in a lot of our insulation in our homes and also used in fire proofing, roofing materials, floor coverings, and more. Anyways, it is the cause of mesothelioma cancer, which is an aggressive lung and abdomen cancer (most patients are given 15 months to live after diagnosis) that is becoming more common. 

I was approached by a very sweet woman named Heather who is a survivor of mesothelioma, and she shared her story with me...She had given birth to her first and only child, Lily, and only 3 months later was diagnosed with mesothelioma. You can imagine the pain and terror Heather went through learning that she had developed a cancer from breathing in dust from dry walls, only 3 months after bringing her brand new baby home.

After Heather shared her story and I read her blog, I knew that I should share her story with others. It is so simple to expose yourself to asbestos, and mesothelioma is 100% preventable. Another scary factor is even if you aren't the one working with the materials directly, secondhand exposure (for example, your husband coming home after working on the house with the dust on his clothes) can still affect your children and yourself. Scary! Please inform yourselves, your husbands, friends, and family!

If you have a moment, here is Heather's short video that she wants to share with the world to raise awareness for this terrible, preventable cancer.

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