Posted on May 15, 2013
Each year, I am both humbled and inspired by the many actions I see ADAO’s supporters taking to increase asbestos awareness and emphasize the need to protect our family members, friends and communities from harmful exposure. I was recently touched to learn that Motley Rice LLC joined forces with the Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team in South Carolina to hold a special event advocating for asbestos awareness and honoring former firefighter, Chief John Winn, who bravely lost his life to mesothelioma in May 2012.
Chief John Winn started the Firefighter Health Awareness Campaign shortly before his passing, and it was his wish that the campaign encourage health screenings among firefighters. Firefighters run the risk of entering buildings in which they may be exposed to asbestos, and Chief Winn understood the importance of early detection measures. “Big John,” a 1969 Mack CF600 fire truck that was restored in his honor and memory, now travels throughout South Carolina promoting health screening tests that help our firefighters detect life-threatening illnesses, such as mesothelioma.
Alongside “Big John,” Support Team leader Chief Gerald Mishoe, as well as members of Chief Winn’s family and several City of Charleston firefighters, appeared before a crowd to talk about the campaign, remember the lives that have been lost because of asbestos exposure, and pay tribute to the many who fight on their behalf each day. Chief Mishoe mentioned that the campaign has already led to the early diagnoses of serious illnesses among five participating firefighters, an indication of how large an impact such efforts can make. Attendees were also invited to sign the truck and help themselves to Firehouse Subs and birthday cake to help celebrate what would have been Chief Winn’s 60th birthday.
In honor of the thousands of mesothelioma warriors and families whose lives have been affected because of asbestos exposure, please take a moment to think about how you can make a difference in your community. Every voice counts, and every action makes a difference.