What we can learn from long-term mesothelioma survivors
There were companies in America just forty years ago that directly put your father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandparents in harm’s way for decades. They did this by exposing them to asbestos without telling them that asbestos causes a deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma. Now, as an individual or the child or relative of someone who has an asbestos-related disease you can see for your own eyes the impact of those companies’ negligence.
There are people out there that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and survived long beyond their likely life expectancy. The average survival time for people with mesothelioma is four to 18 months. Only 5 to 10 percent of people with mesothelioma live longer than five years (American Cancer Society); however, there are people alive today who have defied medical expectations. These individuals did not cure their illness, but somehow, through changes they made in their lives, they have managed to suppress it, slow it, or kick it into remission. The personal stories of mesothelioma survivors are ones of courage, defiance, and determination.
Weitz & Luxenberg would like to provide you with the hope these individuals have given us all simply by continuing to live productive lives with mesothelioma. We believe that understanding what they did may help you find hope in this dark time. We also want you to know that we can help individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma seek financial compensation for their losses. If you would like to learn more, please, fill out the form on this page and we will be happy to provide you with a free legal consultation.
Paul Kraus, diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 1997
“I was told very shortly after I was diagnosed to accept the diagnosis, but to forget the prognosis.And that is just so vital,” says Paul Kraus, one of the most well-known survivors of mesothelioma and author of the book, Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide. “I have what's called peritoneal mesothelioma. I was diagnosed four years ago and as far as I've been told, I'm the longest surviving mesothelioma patient in Australia.” These quotes were taken from an interview in 2001. As of 2011, Paul is still alive, making him a survivor of mesothelioma for 14 years. The typical lifespan of a person with Paul’s illness is 1 year (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
Kraus lived in Australia for many years and worked in a factory there. His work involved cutting sheets of asbestos. 35 years later, Paul was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
In his book he describes taking a proactive approach to his disease by researching traditional mesothelioma therapies and alternative treatments. Paul collaborated with his doctors to create his own regimen to treat his mesothelioma.
“In the days following my diagnosis I began a radical lifestyle change that would affect every facet of my life. I commenced a rigorous 'anti-cancer' diet: plenty of fruit and vegetables (predominantly organic), plenty of whole foods - especially grains, nuts, rice and tempeh as well as becoming totally vegetarian,” says Paul in his book, Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide (survivingmesothelioma.com).
Paul also practiced an alternative medicine treatment called ozone therapy whereby clinicians inject the molecule O3 into the blood (ozoneuniversity.com).
In addition, Paul’s attitude plays a big role in his survival, he claims.
“I was fiercely determined to do everything I could to remain healthy and stay around for a while. My family needed me and I had things to contribute to my fellow human beings…I read in books such as Dr. Candace Pert's Molecules of Emotion that the mind and the body are indivisible.”
Paul states that these lifestyle changes combined with regular check-ups with doctors is what is keeping him alive. Recent check-ups revealed that Paul still has mesothelioma, and his body is weaker than before, but doctors believe that he has the capability of surviving many more years.
James Rhio O’Connor, diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2001
James called his disease “Mr. Meso,” and like Paul Kraus, he had an unwavering defiance in the face of a terrifying illness. In his book, They Said Months, I Chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor's Story, he details his method of surviving mesothelioma for seven and a half years.
O’Connor’s methods are not unlike Paul Kraus’s. He decided to lead a life of fresh food, mostly vegetarian, and a balanced diet. He cites in his book numerous medical articles that agree with the idea that nutrition therapy is one of the greatest ways to fight cancer.
In July, 2009, James Rhio O’Connor passed away. He lived more than six years longer than expected (survivingmesothelioma.com).
Easing the financial burden while fighting for every year
These are just a couple of the people who managed to survive mesothelioma much longer than expected. There are others, but the vast majority of mesothelioma patients continue to confirm the likely life expectancy of about 1 year. These individuals can give us hope, though, and furthermore provide us with alternative ways to think about mesothelioma treatment.
One thing every mesothelioma patient should know is that financial compensation is available. Asbestos exposure was a serious problem in the United States, and cases are still being filed today that have to do with asbestos exposure due to negligence.
Weitz & Luxenberg has defended the rights of asbestos-injured workers for nearly three decades. The firm is known coast to coast for obtaining record-setting verdicts and settlements for clients who were harmed by asbestos.
Please know, we always seek the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to, and there are no legal fees until we secure your compensation award.
For a free legal consultation, simply fill out the form on this page. After submitting the form, a representative from Weitz & Luxenberg will contact you within 24 hours. This service does not bind you to our firm in any way, and is intended to provide you with helpful legal information concerning your individual case.