Dear Senator Cruz,

Rachel ShaneyfeltAs a Presidential candidate, hear my plea.

My name is Rachel Shaneyfelt. I’m a 48 year old female who was recently forced to forfeit my position as a nurse practitioner due to recurrent mesothelioma, an asbestos-related lung cancer. I write to you because I’m deeply concerned about the debris in my town’s air, especially with the history of tornados in our area and my old school Hewitt-Trussville having asbestos present.

“Asbestos is believed to be responsible for as many as 15,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Although its use is discouraged and is banned in 54 countries, it’s a legacy toxic embedded into many older buildings in the U.S. and some uses are still legal here. In fact, OSHA states that any school built before 1981 is presumed to contain asbestos” Huffington Post.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon around the U.S., particularly in our public schools. The Australian Huffington Post recently published an article discussing the current asbestos problems in American public schools as well as mentioning how only 20 out of the 50 Governors that were written actually responded. Unfortunately I’m sure they would be more involved if it was one of them or their family members that was affected by Mesothelioma. How does it feel knowing you probably drove right past it during your most recent visit here? As you were standing outside the civic center, which is just a few miles from the construction site, not one asbestos team was there.

Senator Cruz, I was 43 years old when diagnosed with mesothelioma, thinking my life was just beginning. Although I am still undergoing cancer treatment, I have been blessed to have lived 5 years, much longer than the 9 month death sentence I was originally given by my doctors.

I think it’s extremely important to bring awareness about what’s floating around in the debris of these disasters as well as how far the debris travels. I write this for my community, my country, and for the workers who were probably unaware of the danger they were working and are still working in.

I hope you treat this with the utmost urgency by taking a leadership role in raising awareness and banning asbestos.

Thank you for your time,

Rachel Shaneyfelt, ADAO Supporter

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