Just days before Memorial Day, the U.S. Senate seemed poised to pass a long-overdue, sweeping overhaul of the decades-old, ineffective law governing toxic substances, including asbestos. After all, the legislation had unusual bipartisan support and had just passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 403-12. It also was being supported by such disparate groups as the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chemistry Council. In May, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) also offered their support after significant changes were made to the bill to make asbestos a priority.
Parenting is tough enough as it is. Adding in the complications associated with a cancer diagnosis can make it seem unbearable. Yet millions of cancer survivors are parents, and their experience with the disease naturally requires them to face the realities of their own physical and emotional capabilities.
When one hears the word cancer, along with the initial shock often comes anxiety. There is the anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis. There is the anxiety of treatment and all the various physical and emotional feelings that go along with it. There is the anxiety of what will happen to your family if you don’t survive.
If anyone is qualified to talk why asbestos should be banned in the United States, it’s retired aerospace engineer and businessman Paul Zygielbaum. His life, work, and medical history encompass America’s deadly legacy of asbestos – and with asbestos imports and use continuing in the United States to this day, his story is a cautionary tale for future generations.
One year ago today, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), along with three co-sponsors, introduced a bill to update the decades-old federal law that governs toxic chemicals – including asbestos. Just two days ago, that bill jumped over a major hurdle with the passage of an amendment that incorporates a number of changes suggested by the Senate. Now, it returns to the Senate for a final vote before, hopefully, being sent to President Obama to be signed into law.
Johnie Beth Matthews has led a full life – full of ups and downs, hope and despair, illness and recovery. When she was 35, Johnie suffered a cardiac arrest during a surgical procedure, only to be revived again. Then, diagnosed with small cell lung cancer at the age of 44 – the same age as her step-dad had been diagnosed with mesothelioma – Johnie made the astonishing decision not to treat it, only to recover fully and live for another several decades.
When one hears the word “mesothelioma,” everyone immediately thinks of the commercials on TV: “If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure… “ and then they think everyone who gets this cancer is automatically wealthy because of a lawsuit. Well, I’m here to set that record straight.
Imagine you have the perfect life. You’re in prime physical condition at the peak of your career as a personal trainer. You have an amazing spouse and wonderful children and pets. You live in the Northern Beaches in Australia, an area known for its spectacular ocean views and proximity to the cultural center of Sydney. It’s your fiftieth birthday, and as a celebration of life, you’re giving back to the community by hosting a “Young at Heart” fitness class that will support victims of flooding in Queensland.