James Dunbar “Dun” Stockwell

In November 2012, James Dunbar “Dun” Stockwell went to the doctor’s office for a routine physical exam. When the doctor took an x-ray, however, he discovered Dun had a collapsed lung. The discovery led to multiple surgeries and the need to return to the hospital every few months due to pleural effusion (buildup of fluid in the lungs).

Almost two years later, Dun returned to the hospital for another collapsed lung and more fluid. A biopsy was taken and reviewed by the Mayo Clinic at Arizona. The diagnosis was mesothelioma.

He started chemotherapy treatments the next month, continuing through June 2015. Unfortunately, in August 2015, Dun passed away from the disease, less than a year after being diagnosed.

Now, Dun’s daughter Natalie wants to raise awareness about the deadly disease, while at the same time raising money for research.

“I wanted to host an event to memorialize my father,” Natalie recently told the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance (MCA). “What better way than to host a fundraiser to raise money and awareness about the disease that took his life?”

Music for Meso Event

Scheduled for August 20, 2016, the Music for Meso event will take place at Sullivan’s Ringside in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It will feature a number of local bands, including Cold Grits, Toby Tomplay, Todd & Kim Unplugged, and Pat-e and Ryan. More importantly, it will bring awareness to a preventable disease that kills thousands of people each year.

The Music for Meso webpage says the event was inspired by Dun’s love for music. Natalie told MCA more about the kind of man her father was.

“My dad was the greatest! He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He was my hero, my neighbor and my friend. He was a mentor to just about everyone he came into contact with. He is missed every day and loved by so many.”

Before her father’s diagnosis, Natalie had not even been aware of the disease. “I may have seen a commercial about the disease,” she recalled, “but I had no knowledge of what it actually was.”

Although unsure about exactly where her father may have been exposed to asbestos, the only scientifically proven cause of mesothelioma, Natalie says it was likely that he was exposed during one of the several industrial jobs he held during the 1970s.

Natalie’s goal for the event is an ambitious one. “I hope more people learn more about asbestos and the harm it can cause,” she said, adding that she plans to hold the event annually to continue the awareness efforts. “I hope this event raises awareness and helps other families that may be affected by mesothelioma.”

Money raised from the event will be donated to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for mesothelioma. The Foundation also has the Music For Meso event listed on their website.