A week ago I was contacted by Heather; a women whose story shows true strength and perseverance. After hearing all that she has been through, and the continuous courage she conveyed through it all, I knew I needed to highlight her on my own blog! She is filled with exactly what I preach, inspiration. Her story, like mine, can save lives.
Just eight years ago, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She was exposed to asbestos as a child due to her fathers occupation as a construction worker. Something as simple as her wearing her fathers jacket, a memory she use to smile about, has now caused her so much grief.
She got this terrible diagnosis after giving birth to her daughter. One of the most beautiful moments of her life, giving birth to Lily, quickly turned to one of the worst… she was given only fifteen months to live. Thankfully, Heather received a life saving surgery, which included the removal of her left lung. Her story ends on a more positive note, but there are still so many in our world today who are battling this malicious disease, and many of whom, don't win that battle.
She informed me that Asbestos Awareness week is right around the corner and she is determined to get the word spread about this terrible mineral. After clicking on her page, I could't believe all that I was reading! Asbestos is still being used in many areas of the United States, some areas include office buildings, building materials in homes, and naval ships- it is absolutely terrifying that there is still an allowance for the use of Asbestos, knowing how deadly it is. Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancer, hearing this hit close to home. My grandfather lost his life due to mesothelioma, which was caused by Asbestos from his work. My grandfather lost his life in 1990... and in 2014, the US still has yet to ban it.
Something has to be done to stop this, and that is what Heathers mission has become. But she can’t do this alone, and therefore we need to all come together and spread the word, our voices can stop this.
Heather told me that after her lung removal 8 years ago, her and her family celebrate with a day they call “Lung Leavin’ Day” where they write their biggest fears on plates and throw them into a fire. Her sister and husband came up with the name, and it has helped them all get through their fears and hardships! I loved hearing this, and definitely see it as something I might do on the anniversary of the kidney transplant. Click here to learn more about 'Lung Leavin' Day'