Now, a diagnosis of cancer is never good, no matter what, but what this woman went through is amazing. In 2005, only three months after giving birth to her daughter, Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. She was given only 15 months to live unless she opted to have a lung removed.
Can you imagine the terror of not only being given essentially a death sentence, but the prospect of leaving the child you just gave birth to? Yet every year, 3,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer. On average, they are given 10 months (the equivalent of 300 days or 7,200 hours) to live. Heather beat the odds and is now an 8-year mesothelioma cancer survivor. She's made it her life mission to let others know about the dangers of asbestos and is proof that those with this illness should not lose hope.
She also shares these incredibly alarming statistics:
- Asbestos is still not banned in the United States. About 800
million pounds of it are still used each year.
- Asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked human eye.
- Even more than 30 years after the peak if its use, exposure
to asbestos is still the number one cause of occupational cancer in
the United States.
- Asbestos can still be found in many homes, schools, and
commercial and industrial buildings (I know it's in the floor tiles
in one of my rooms and was found in the insulation around some of the pipes in my former home).
- This deadly substance was once used in more than 3000
consumer products including toasters and hairdryers – some of
these products are still in use.
- Navy Veterans are at the greatest risk to develop
mesothelioma as asbestos was widely used in Naval ships and
- No amount of exposure to this substance is safe.
If you are a fellow blogger reading this post, please consider spreading the word about asbestos exposure. Let's use the power of the Web to get the word out about this dangerous, yet still used, material!