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Category: Faces of Mesothelioma

Asbestos Found in Children's Makeup

After Losing Father to Mesothelioma, Mother Finds It “Unspeakable” That Asbestos Is Found In Children’s Makeup

As a mother, I worry. I worry about my daughter’s first day of school; will she be nervous? I wonder what the world will be like for her as she grows and moves into adulthood. I wonder what she will decide to be when she grows up, who will she grow up to be? Something that I never considered worrying about until my father got sick was the danger of asbestos.

Sure, we know that asbestos is found in building products and things of that nature, but it being used in children’s crayons and makeup? It is completely unspeakable and inexcusable. Why would a company knowingly place our youth in danger, all for the sake of making a dollar?

Yes, I know that the products have been removed from the shelves, but who is to say that there aren’t more items like these still out there, let alone the damage that may have already been done? Thinking about what these children may end up going through because they colored a picture or played dress up makes me angry and sick to my stomach.

It’s time that we all stand up to the companies endangering society at large, especially those targeting our children. It is not okay to ignore the deadly implications of asbestos, enabling more and more of us to be put, unknowingly, at risk.

Take the time to look at ingredients of items you may use every day. If it’s questionable, put it back, call the company and demand answers. You owe it to yourself and to future generations to stop this cycle and help to eradicate the use of asbestos, and, in turn, mesothelioma.

Honoring Dad - Mesothelioma

In the New Year: Moving On And Growing While Honoring Dad

This time of year is beautiful for so many reasons; the birth of Jesus being celebrated, time being spent with cherished family and friends, the snowy weather, I could go on and on about things I love about Christmastime. On the other hand, it’s a tough time when you are mourning the loss of a loved one. No matter how much time passes, it’s always a hard season for me without my Dad being here.

Just last night, I saw this picture of my father dressed as Santa. Every year for his Church Christmas party, he would emerge dressed as the big man in red. Even though he sometimes gave himself away (he would forget to change his boots and take off his watch almost every time!), you could see how happy he was listening to the children tell him about their year and how good they’ve been… even though sometimes, a child would be brutally honest with him, saying that they fell a bit short of the nice list.

When I saw that picture, I cried. I cried because this particular snapshot was from his last Christmas. I cried because I feel like my daughter has been cheated by not getting a chance to experience this tradition with him. I cried because no matter how old I get, I’ll always need my Dad. I cried because I don’t like change, and this change was one that I never could have seen coming.

Even though it is difficult, my family decides to carry on. Not just for my daughter, but for Dad. He loved Christmas and would want us to continue our traditions, as well as to make new ones together. Just because there are new things added, it doesn’t take away from the value of the old.

This is a great message for the New Year! Moving forward doesn’t have to mean leaving things behind. Growing doesn’t mean that you overlook the process that got you to where you are. Carrying on does not equal forgetting the past. It is a new year, a whole year of possibilities awaits you. So dive in, enjoy this time that God has given you, but don’t forget to reflect on years past, and smile at all of your treasured memories.

Dad's Presence-Despite Losing to Mesothelioma

Dad’s Presence at Christmas Was The Best Present

Anyone who knew my father knew that he loved Christmas! The snow, the family time, the togetherness, and the true meaning of the season made his usual smile sparkle even more. It was always a magical time for Dad and my entire family.

On Christmas morning, once presents were open, he always had something up his sleeve. Somewhere, hidden in the house, was a big present that no one else knew about. I always looked forward to this; not the gift itself, but his excitement in knowing that he was about to surprise us. It was fun, absolutely, but it wasn’t what mattered. It was his presence, not the present, that was important.

Christmas of 2011 was a rough one for us all. Dad was going downhill quickly, and no one knew why. Doctors were stumped, we were sad, and it was clear to everyone that he may not be around for much longer. Still, he tried his best to push through his exhaustion, shortness of breath, and pain, and smiled. That year, however, there was a sadness behind it.

Fast forward to 2012. Dad was finally correctly diagnosed that year, had his surgery, chemotherapy, and a clinical trial, and was feeling great! I think this might have been the happiest I had ever seen him on Christmas. He laughed, joked, ate, and of course, surprised us all, as per usual! I will always remember his smile that day; he had been given a gift from God, and it was written all over his face.

The next year, 2013, everything was different. We were celebrating our first Christmas without my father, the glue who held us all together, only about two months after he passed away. We did our best to keep our traditions as normally as possible, only to find ourselves at a loss. We realized that Dad wouldn’t want that, so we tried to pick ourselves up and remember the reason for this day. God’s promise. The beauty of Jesus’ birth.

This year, we’ll be celebrating again, as we do each year. The addition of my three year old daughter adds a beautiful light, and looking into her blue-green eyes that look just like Dad’s, I remember all the memories I made, particularly on Christmas, with my angel father. I am reminded of the importance of family and the message of Christmas. We continue on, never forgetting, but keeping Dad’s memory close to our hearts.

GivingTuesday - Support Mesothelioma Charities

Support Mesothelioma Charities on #givingtuesday

Each year, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is the Global Day of Giving. This year, that day falls on November 28. It is a beautiful endeavor inspiring people and businesses to give to a charity or cause of their choice during the holiday season (and before the end of the year).

This year on “#GivingTuesday” consider joining in with countless others and make a donation to something that matters to you. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is a worthy recipient of your gift and would really appreciate your help.

This organization has been a Godsend to my family and the families of others going through life faced with a mesothelioma diagnosis. They promote advocacy and research, as well as provide much needed support to the mesothelioma community, one that is all too often forgotten.

Enjoy this Thanksgiving with your loved ones, and encourage them to take part in this wonderful event with you. May God bless you and yours during this time of charity, hope, and love.


Honoring Loved Ones Lost To Mesothelioma - Thanksgiving Special

Make Thanksgiving Special In Honor of Your Loved Ones Lost to Mesothelioma

The holidays are a time to be with those you love. A time to laugh, reminisce about old memories, and create new ones that will be added to the collection. My family continues to do this, but with the realization that the group present has changed drastically over the past few years.

Now, there are empty seats at our table; not only my Dad’s, but also those of both of my Grandmothers. We lost all three of them in the last four years. Adjusting to their loss has been challenging on both sides of my family, who are intensely close. There is no division, only one group united in love.

Looking at a Thanksgiving turkey or a beautifully decorated Christmas tree still brings me joy, but it also makes me a bit sad knowing that some loved ones who would always play a hand in them aren’t here to make their usual contributions. There are songs and customs that lack something… someone.

It is never easy to lose a person that you love, someone who has played a pivotal part in your family, and therefore, a vital part in holiday traditions. Even as you carry on, it’s important to honor their memory by doing just that. Continue those things that they introduced you to; what a beautiful way to make their legacy last! Even though the framework may look a bit different at times, the meaning remains the same.

Do them with the same love and fervor that you did together. It will pass on to the next generation as well. Most of all, enjoy this special time with those you love; don’t forget those who are no longer there, but remember them with a grateful, joyful heart.

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