February 29th is Rare Disease Day, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to participate in an awareness campaign. I am helping to raise awareness by sharing the story of the lovely Heather Von St. James.
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is awful, and receiving such a diagnosis right after having a baby, well that is downright terrifying. But that is exactly what happened to Heather, a decade ago. Don’t worry, this story is a happy one. Heather has been cancer-free for 10 years now!
What is Mesothelioma?
- Mesothelioma is cancer that affects the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.
- Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma.
- Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose due to the symptoms being similar to other respiratory conditions.
- It is diagnosed through a combination of biopsy and imaging scans.
- There is no cure, but mesothelioma can be treated through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, connect with Heather, and get support with your journey.
Heather Von St. James had been a mother for just 3 months before her doctor found the source of her inability to breathe and exhaustion. She was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an incredibly uncommon form of cancer that affects the lining of the lung. Mesothelioma is predominantly caused by exposure to toxic asbestos fibers that were used in many construction materials and household items until 1970.
Houses, buildings, and consumer products that were built or created prior to 1970 may still contain asbestos, so Heather continues to raise awareness to bring information to those who may still become affected. She herself was exposed by wearing her father’s jacket after work, which was covered in white dust.