I’m slowly bringing back my Take a Moment feature on the blog! This month, I’m bringing you a very special spotlight with a very special lady.

I would like to introduce you to Heather Von St. James. She is a remarkable woman who has overcome great odds. Shortly after giving birth to her daughter, she was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Her exposure to asbestos at a young age was found to be the cause of this cancer. Her father worked with asbestos and would hug her when he came home. His clothes were also laundered with the rest of the family’s which added to the exposure. This cancer is the most serious of all asbestos related diseases and has a very low survival rate – about 10%.  I want to share Heather’s story of survival with you, but I don’t feel that I have the proper words for it. I’m going to let her share her story through a video instead.
“Don’t give up. Don’t take a death sentence as a diagnosis. There is hope.”
Educate yourself about mesothelioma with a few simple facts below:
1. Exposure to asbestos puts you at risk.
2. It does not appear until many years after the exposure.
3. Asbestos exposure is common in veterans who worked on ships, in shipyards, or on military bases. Veterans who served from 1930-1980 are just now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
4. Common occupations at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics, machinists, and more.
5. You could also be at risk if you lived with someone in one of these professions. Clothes that were laundered together can lead to secondhand exposure.

For more information about the disease and your chances of being at risk, please visit http://www.mesothelioma.com/.

To learn more about Heather and to help her spread the word about mesothelioma, please visit her Stand Up to Cancer page or her Story page.

Help us spread the word and save others! Early detection gives someone the best hope of survival.