Posted in October 2011

We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a common bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, 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 Alan Reinstein, former President of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

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.


(shared by his widow, Linda)

Name: Alan

State: California

Time of 1st Symptoms: Summer 2002

Time of Diagnosis: June 2003

Diagnosis: Pleural Mesothelioma

Treatment: Multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, including the radical Extra-Pleural Pneumonectomy (EPP) — a surgical procedure that removed Alan’s rib, left lung, pericardium, and removed and replaced his diaphragm

1939 – 2006

How has Asbestos changed your life? (unedited): In 2003, after enduring 9 months of symptoms and multiple visits to doctors, my husband, Alan, was diagnosed with “mes•o•the•li•o•ma,” a disease I had never heard of, couldn’t pronounce,  and learned doctors couldn’t cure. We were a typical American family – trusting that our government would protect our air, water, and soil from toxins – but that’s falase.  Because of Alan’s asbestos exposure, our then-10-year-old daughter had to watch her father slowly die from a preventable disease. Sadly, our experience is a common one.  Alan spent his last year tethered to supplemental oxygen, like a dog on a leash.  I want him back – he was my soul mate and my daughter’s father, but resurrection in not an option. Instead, I must and will use my voice with the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) to end the deadly legacy of asbestos.  It is reprehensible that the United States still imports hundreds of metric tons of chrysotile asbestos every year.  The U.S. Geological Survey reported in 2010 that all the asbestos used in the United States was chrysotile, of which 90% was imported from Canada and 10% from Brazil.  For each life lost from an asbestos-caused disease, a shattered family is left behind.

U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2011