Posted on March 3, 2014
We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.
This week, we would like to honor the story of David, as shared by his family Eileen Dioguardi, Eileen Murray, Marge McNally, Elly Dioguardi Rochowicz, Maureen Moriarty Dioguardi, Sara Aguilar, who are a part of our ADAO family.
We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone.
“Finding Hope with Mesothelioma” – David’s Story
Location: Chicago, IL
Date of Birth: 05-JAN-1941
Date of Diagnosis: 14-SEP-2011
How has asbestos changed your life? In the Summer of 2011, my SuperDad, David, had difficulty breathing, a recurring cough that wouldn’t go away, rapid weight loss, fatigue and other symptoms. Originally, he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory illness and then he became concerned that his lymphoma had returned after almost 15 years in remission. After having fluid drained from his lungs, results indicated that he had mesothelioma. Shortly afterward he had a scope of his lung confirming that he had advanced malignant mesothelioma. We were shocked and devastated!!
My SuperDad was told he had about 4 months to live and was encouraged to get his affairs in order. In disbelief, we began planning how we would be spending our last few months with him. Doctors told us there was an invasive surgery available, but they did not believe he would qualify given his other health conditions and were concerned that available chemo treatments would damage his kidneys.
Then his lymphoma doctor connected us to specialists at University of Chicago. Afterward, his doctors cleared him for a radical pleurectomy, which he had on October 31, 2011, followed by chemotherapy. The surgeon was able to remove 90% of the tumor, and to date his tumor has not changed. Almost 2 ½ years after diagnosis, my SuperDad is doing very well and living his life to the fullest.
My SuperDad’s experience inspired us to start Mesothelioma Heroes Foundation to help the “heroes” affected by mesothelioma by raising public awareness, providing educational information, providing support to others, and promoting funding for the “heroes” that are researching treatments and a cure. We are planning our first awareness and fundraising event for September 20, 2014.
My SuperDad was fortunate enough to find hope when he thought he had none. We want to help others find hope as well.
* * *