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Today is Action for Mesothelioma Day (3 July 2020) an important event which takes place every year, when we remember and pay tribute to all those affected by asbestos disease.

Lynn Yeates, specialist asbestos disease solicitor from our Southampton office, outlines how this important day will be marked.

Action for Mesothelioma Day is a time for asbestos support groups from all over the country to come together with mesothelioma patients and their families to pause and reflect and to raise awareness of this devastating disease caused by asbestos exposure.

This year’s events are no exception, but the difference is that we are all assembling virtually due to the COVID-19 situation.

However, there are lots of exciting things planned online and a whole host of activities and VIP guest speakers to ensure Action for Mesothelioma Day is a huge success and ensure money is raised for vital research and support.

The UK Mesothelioma Alliance will be delivering over an hour of online content from 11 am this morning with a very distinguished line up of guests. This will include a welcome introduction from Dawn McKinley, Chair of UK Mesothelioma Alliance, information about nursing support from Sarah Morgan, Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist and the chance to hear from mesothelioma patient and ‘meso warrior’, Mavis Nye.

Other high profile speakers lined up include Professor Sanjay Popat, Consultant Thoracic Medical Oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Professor of Thoracic Oncology at the Institute of Cancer Research, mesothelioma patient Paul Cook and David Gold, Vice-President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). You can follow the UK Mesothelioma Alliance on Facebook and Twitter to view today’s content.

Mesothelioma UK will be joining in with the UK Mesothelioma Alliance virtual talk and then doing a Facebook Live video at 12 pm where they will be answering questions regarding the talk.

Each year, our wonderful local asbestos support group HASAG releases butterflies into the air in memory of those who have lost their lives due to mesothelioma, as a mark of respect and an expression of hope for the future.

Their event is happening today from 12 pm and HASAG will be live video streaming the butterfly release on its social media channels including YouTube, their Facebook page and posting the video on Twitter and Instagram.

The funds raised from the HASAG butterfly release will be donated to Mesothelioma UK and the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. These important organisations make a huge difference to those suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

At previous Action for Mesothelioma Day events, HASAG has been able to part-fund two specialist Mesothelioma UK nurses and is hoping to fund two more nurses soon. Donations to the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund has led to the HASAG Fellowship, a research project for treatments for mesothelioma.

SWASAG, the South West Asbestos Support Awareness Group, will be part of the UK Mesothelioma Alliance virtual event and afterwards will be holding their weekly SWASAG Zoom meeting where people can ask questions following on from the presentation.

In addition, the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund will be holding a virtual ‘meet the researchers’ between 1 pm – 3 pm on Zoom. During the event, viewers will be able to find out more about mesothelioma research from Dr Fiona McGregor and Professor Sarah Haywood-Small.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown period, asbestos support groups, charities and organisations have continued to help people with mesothelioma and their families and carers.

It is a testament to their dedication, commitment, and hard work that those with mesothelioma continue to feel informed and supported, despite the current situation. Virtual coffee mornings, live streaming discussions and over-the-phone appointments have all played a significant part in offering mesothelioma patients the best possible advice and support.

Here is to a great (virtual) Action for Mesothelioma Day 2020!