Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Guest Writer - Nancy Meredith

Writer Hopes to Make a Difference for Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families

 It is both an honor and a privilege for me to be invited to write a guest blog for Jan Egerton. I have only known Jan for a short time, but her enthusiasm for life and unwavering fight against mesothelioma has inspired me in so many ways.  Personally she has inspired me to live each day to the fullest and not to take anything for granted. Professionally, Jan has helped me sharpen my focus on finding and reporting on important breakthroughs in mesothelioma research.

 A diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer can bring life to a standstill for many families. Nearly 10 years ago, my father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, and in just six short months he had succumbed to the non-forgiving disease. Although my family and I frantically searched for as much information as we could find about lung cancer, we didn’t really know where to turn or what to do next. After he died we were left with a feeling of hopelessness and guilt that maybe we didn’t look in the “right” place for that valuable piece of information that could have extended his life. That same scenario plays out frequently for mesothelioma patients and their families.

 There are virtually hundreds of thousands of websites that offer information to the public about mesothelioma, but finding a website with clear, accurate and timely information is the key to ensuring patients and their families get information that can make a difference in their care. In my position as a writer for, I am able to use my energy and passion for writing to bring the most current and pertinent mesothelioma information to patients and their families in one location. My goal is to provide the critical information to families battling mesothelioma needed to empower them to work with a medical team that will allow them to proactively participate in making the decisions for their care.

 The Mesothelioma Cancer Resources Blog is updated daily with timely information related to mesothelioma clinical trials, the latest research and treatment news, human interest stories about and from patients and their families battling the disease, federal regulations, policies and laws on asbestos and mesothelioma as well as other pertinent topics. I believe it is important to keep the information fresh, and reporting every day about mesothelioma ensures that I am constantly scanning all sources for breakthroughs in the field.

 Ricki Lewis, PhD, geneticist and author of “The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It,” has proven to be an invaluable resource for me as I report on gene therapy. Ricki has not only written guest articles detailing the intricacies of gene therapy, but she has guided me to relevant topics, and educated me about the background and future of genetics in cancer therapy. Her support ensures that our readers get accurate, factual information.
 Most recently, I have had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Gelsick as she shares the ups and downs her family has faced as her father, Don Smitley, battles mesothelioma. Jennifer has led our readers through her father’s initial diagnosis of mesothelioma, through his surgery and treatments, and to his new life as he fights to keep the mesothelioma from coming back.  Jennifer continues to provide critical hints and tips to families on topics ranging from traveling for treatment to adjusting to life after treatment. Her stories can be found in our “Faces of Mesothelioma” section of the website.

 Jan has allowed me to bring her struggles of mesothelioma to our readers as well. Since her diagnosis over a decade ago, Jan has remained steadfast in her resolve. During that time she has built a network of others dedicated to the same result – finding a cure for this “nasty cancer.” Jan’s advocacy and support has given many people in England and the United States a place to turn when looking for the real-life struggles a mesothelioma patient faces every day.

 The latest addition to the blog is the Nurse’s Corner. Lisa Hyde-Barrett has been a thoracic surgery nurse for nearly 25 years, and she has had the privilege of caring for countless mesothelioma patients over the years. Lisa will offer medical information to the readers.

Like Jan, Jennifer and others, I hope in some way I can make a difference in the mesothelioma community. I also hope that I am the one who breaks the news when a cure is found.

 About Nancy Meredith:

 Nancy is a former IT professional who now dedicates her time to writing about mesothelioma. When she isn’t writing, she is running or biking for fun or to help raise funds for cancer research. Nancy lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with her husband and their dachshund, Scooter.

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