When a loved one receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, it can be easy for you to feel helpless. This is perfectly understandable. The important thing is to know that there is a way to channel your feelings into creating positive change.
At Mesothelioma Circle, we keep track of inspirational stories of people living with asbestos-related diseases all around the world. In the UK, two grandparents, who have been married for 43 years, are throwing themselves into charity work in order to raise awareness of mesothelioma, as reported by This Is Surrey Today.
Disease cannot stop rock concert and walk-a-thon
Martin Wodehouse, a 64-year-old retired police officer living in Surrey, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2010. The doctors attributed his disease to a history of asbestos exposure in 1967.
Wodehouse and his wife, Lynda, decided that they needed to do all that they can in order to educate people about this fatal illness.
“We’re really hoping to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and of mesothelioma, as well as collect as much money as possible,” Lynda told the news source.
Both Wodehouses are engaging in their own individual efforts. For her part, Lynda is organizing a rock concert to be held March 22, featuring West End performer Billy Geraghty. Mark Carter, a member of the BBC, will be the emcee. Lynda will be hosting additional fundraisers before then.
In September 2011, Martin himself raised money by embarking on a 67-mile charity walk around the coast of the Isle of Wight. The trip, which took place in between chemotherapy treatments, took four-and-a-half days to complete.
“That was a struggle and the weather was terrible, but I was really proud to complete it,” Martin told the news source.
Mesothelioma UK and the Hampshire Asbestos Support and Awareness Group are the beneficiaries of the Wodehouse’s efforts.
Exercise and mesothelioma
Martin’s charity walk illustrates how even with mesothelioma, it is possible to stay active. This is important because physical activity can help support several health functions for patients. Experts from the American Cancer Society (ACS) note that exercise can help cancer patients improve their balance, keep their muscles and bones from becoming weak, decrease the risk of blood clots, reduce nausea and fatigue and boost mood.
However, doctors from the American Society of Clinical Oncology assert that patients undergoing cancer treatment should not exercise above 50 to 60 percent of their maximum heart rate. Before adopting any exercise regimen, talk to a physician. He or she can help you decide what level of activity is appropriate, how to stay hydrated and how to recognize the warning signs that exercise must stop.
The ACS has several tips on how to get the most out of a physical regimen:
Try to do at least a few minutes of activity every day.
- Exercise during times of the day when you are feeling your best.
- Use stretches to maintain flexibility and range of motion.
- Do not overexert yourself.
- Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein and water.
You, too, can contribute to charity
The Wodehouse’s story also demonstrates the importance of supporting cancer charities. These organizations not only work to educate the public, but they often provide services to support patients.
You do not necessarily have to contribute money to these groups. If you are so compelled, consider volunteering your time. The ACS has a list of various organizations that you can help, including charities that provide transportation, lodging, emotional support and other services for patients.