Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich and union leaders Al Wassell of Heat & Frost Insulators Local 12 and Patrick Dolan Jr. of Steamfitters Local 638 will lead the iWalk4MESO virtual race on Tuesday, September 26 in honor of Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Supporters can join the virtual race from anywhere and with any distance, and donations made for the walk will go to the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Approximately 125 million people worldwide have been exposed to asbestos at their workplace with around 4,800 new cases of mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases diagnosed in the United States each year. These diseases disproportionately affect construction workers, members of the military and other tradespeople who are more likely to come into contact with asbestos. It can take 20 to 50 years after exposure before symptoms of these cancers appear.

“Most Americans are unaware of the aggressive and devastating cancer known as mesothelioma, which primarily affects those that have dedicated their lives to building this country — veterans, construction workers, ship builders and mechanics,” said consumer advocate Erin Brockovich. “These patients need our support, and we can show it by joining together with iWalk4MESO and raising money for much-needed research into these deadly lung diseases.”

“Too many Local 12 members have had their lives cut short by mesothelioma,” said Al Wassell, Fund Manager for Heat & Frost Insulators Local 12. “I’ve seen first-hand the pain and suffering that comes with a mesothelioma diagnosis, and I know that more must be done to find a cure. I’m leading iWalk4MESO for all my brothers, sisters and their families that have dealt with this tragedy and to prevent others from having to go through it too.”

“Mesothelioma is a terrible disease that unfortunately targets hard-working men and women in the construction trades,” said Patrick Dolan Jr., President of Enterprise Association of Steamfitters Local 638. “While we can’t erase asbestos from our buildings, we can do more to help those that have been exposed. Anyone, anywhere can participate in iWalk4MESO and help lend a hand in the fight against mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers.”

Supporters across the country are encouraged to walk anywhere to participate on September 26. To show their participation, supporters simply need to post a photo of themselves holding the iWalk4MESO graphic to the iWalk4MESO Facebook group. Participants are also encouraged to post messages on their own social media pages with the hashtags #iWalk4MESO, #MesotheliomaAwarenessDay and #EndMeso. For every post on the iWalk4MESO Facebook page, Weitz & Luxenberg and Colleran O’Hara & Mills L.L.P. will make a donation to Mass General.

More information:

Walk for Mesothelioma | Find Out How You Can Help