You have all kindly asked how you can help, and this is one way in which we can all make a difference….
Being the positive person I am (& whilst sat here for 8+ hours of chemo today!!) one of my aims still during treatment is to help others through similar ordeals. This started with my blog and in 4 months I have had over 9400 views – incredible. If it only helps 1 person I will be delighted.
Having researched lots on mesothelioma, I have found out Mesothelioma research funding was so low compared to other cancers. For example, in 2014, £820k was spent on Meso where other cancers with similar mortality rates are over £10m. I thought this could be an opportunity where I could try and make a difference! Thus, I wrote to Lord Alton whom sits in the House of Lords. He put me in touch with the British Lung Foundation (BLF) who have been marvellous.
To increase funding, initially we need to raise awareness amongst MPs and I have since worked with BLF to produce a template letter below. Can you all therefore help, copy this letter and send to your local MP? The first sentence will need editing as appropriate! I’m sure between Meso Warriors, carers, friends & family we could hit most MPs across the country. Happy for you to share my blog address too so the MP can read a real life case – davestaley.wordpress.com.
Nathan Bennett from the BLF is leading the campaign in Westminster calling for more funding for mesothelioma research. He is quite optimistic – having had support from MPs from all parties and there are real signs that the Government is revisiting the issue. We just need to keep pushing. He has found that MPs pay a lot of attention to letters from constituents, so they can be a really effective way of getting an issue on their radar, which would be a huge help. Do feel free to alter it and add your own experience and message – this is your letter after all!
If you’re unsure who your MP is, you can find out by entering your postcode on this website – http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ . If you, or anyone you forward this on to, has difficulty finding contact details for their MPs, please feel free to email (email@example.com) and he will help find it for you.
Can you all please add a comment to advise which MP you have written to? I will keep a log so I can inform the BLF. Even if it means the same MP getting 100 letters, it all helps.
Thanks for all your help in advance
I am writing to you as a constituent (and friend of xxx/carer of – select appropriate) who suffers from mesothelioma to ask that you help bring an end to the current underfunding of research into the disease.
As you may know, mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung lining (and less commonly the abdomen and heart) for which there is currently no cure. The main cause of mesothelioma is breathing in asbestos dust, and the average time between exposure and the development of the disease is 20-30 years.
The UK has the highest rate of the disease in the world. This year it is estimated that over 2,500 people will die of the mesothelioma in the UK, and during the next 30 years, around 60,000 people will die unless new treatments are found.
Despite the thousands affected, the valuable research which could improve treatments or cure the disease continues to be underfunded. In 2014, the National Cancer Research Institute figures showed that just £820k was invested in mesothelioma research by its partners. This is significantly lower than the £10.25m and £6.8m spent respectively on skin cancer (melanoma & others) and myeloma, two cancers with similar mortality. That’s £3,500 and £2,490 spent per fatality from melanoma and myeloma, compared to just £330 on mesothelioma.
We can’t carry on paying so little attention to this disease. That’s why I’m asking you to support the British Lung Foundation’s campaign for a small levy on the insurance companies earmarked for medical research.
Many insurers understand the importance of supporting research. By improving mesothelioma outcomes and thereby reducing compensation pay-outs, insurers would stand to benefit financially from the outcomes or research. Several insurers have donated voluntary funds, but it hasn’t come anywhere near closing the gap between the money spent on mesothelioma and other cancers which affect a similar number of people. Given many insurers stand to benefit, it also seems unfair that it has been left to two commendable insurers – Aviva and Zurich – to finance research.
The funds from a small levy on the insurance industry would transform mesothelioma research. Please could you add your support to the campaign by signing EDM 913.
Also, please would you write to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, asking that his Department take further steps to support research into mesothelioma.
Sent from my iPhone