The Miles for Meso Washington Memorial 5K was established in 2012 with the goals of raising awareness of this disease, fundraising for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, and to honor Dick Dyhrman, Bud Hatley, Bob Stewart, and the rest of the Washington State residents who have lost their battles with this disease. The founders of this event, Pat Dyhrman, Pat Hatley, and Diana Stewart chose Federal Way as the venue of the 5K Run/Walk since these three victims had ties to this city. Dick was a geologist with the Weyerhaeuser Company, Bud was a former athletic director for the Federal Way School District, and Bob was a Federal Way High School teacher and coach. All three had positive impacts on the youth in their communities. Others throughout our state have succumbed to Mesothelioma, and this is to honor them as well.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that so far has no cure. It is caused by the exposure to asbestos. Small fibers enter the body through the respiratory system. Asbestos was once commonly used as an insulator for pipes in ships and buildings. It was used in floor tiles, ceiling texture, siding, small kitchen appliances, paint, and had many other applications and uses. After inhaling the fibers, some become lodged in the lungs. They may migrate from the linings of the lung, to the linings of the abdominal cavity or the heart. Once there, the damage begins. It may be 20 to 50 years after exposure that the disease, Mesothelioma or Asbestosis, is first diagnosed. The life expectancy after diagnosis used to be measured in months. Some people have lived as long as ten years after diagnosis, but that is an exception to the rule. Washington ranks 10th in the nation for deaths from this disease.
The money raised this 4th of July will be used to continue funding research to find more effective ways of treating this disease and ultimately a cure. To learn more about this disease, please visit curemeso.org.