Lisa Harty

Posted on March 28, 2013

If you have ever read the account of  Sir Ernest Shackleton’s failed sea expedition, then you are aware that his vessel’s name, Endurance, was eerily prophetic.  Having left Britain in 1914 with twenty-seven men for the Antarctic, Shackleton met the misfortune of nature cruelly imposing on this small group.  Months into the voyage, the vessel was trapped by polar ice and later crushed, leaving them with only high-risk options for survival.  Miraculously, under Shackleton’s focused leadership and determination to obtain rescue, all were recovered alive three years later despite the inhumane conditions of the region.  Endurance, however, is only part of the equation that led to their survival.  Single-minded purpose and the integrity of vision set by Shackleton is what, I believe, secured the legendary success of this group.

I see ADAO exemplifying these same characteristics.  An organization with limited resources engaging in life-saving efforts against a cruel twist of nature that seems, at times, insurmountable on paper.  Yet with focused determination and a commitment to only partner with like-minded professionals, volunteers, and sponsors, Linda Reinstein has been able to foster a sense of unity that gains momentum with each annual conference.  The diverse group at this year’s conference complemented each other perfectly due to a shared common vision.  That vision is the determined effort to bring advocacy, community, and education on behalf of those concerned about asbestos related disease to the forefront of society.  It is through this unity that ADAO will achieve its goals of seeing lives saved, disease prevented, industry held accountable, and global policies that reflect what is most honorable in each of us enacted.  Endurance will surely be required, but Linda Reinstein is proving to be this era’s Shackleton.