Once a year the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston holds a memorial service for patients who lost their battle to the disease. It is not easy for families to come back to a place that had such an emotional connection for them and their loved ones, who lost their battle with mesothelioma.
For caregivers and families alike it is a very emotional day. For the staff, it is one of the most important programs we can attend each year. It reminds all of us what has been lost to this disease. It allows us to put a face and names to those who have fought mesothelioma, to become invigorated to work harder in memory of these who have died, and to reconnect with families who have a lost a piece of their heart to a cruel cancer.[expert_info author=”Tagore”]“Say not in grief that she is no more but say in thankfulness that she was. A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.” [/expert_info]
Memorial Day is another day set aside for remembering and honoring those who have died. We reflect and pay our respect and gratitude to those who have sacrificed their lives for our country. Whether it be in battle defending our country, or an insidious disease that those who lived are diagnosed with years later. Whether it is their loss of life from the effects of agent orange or asbestos exposure, those who sacrificed for our country deserve our unending gratitude.
Approximately 30% of mesothelioma patients who are diagnosed are U.S. veterans. With the time of exposure to asbestos to the time of developing mesothelioma taking from 15-60 years, this disease is a killer of our service men and women.
Memorial Day and the annual Memorial Service at Brigham and Women’s are held this time of year every year, and every year we pause and vow never to forget those who have died.