Jakob migrated to New York from Poland when he was 28 years old to pursue a better future. He soon found a job working at a cardboard factory and stayed with the company for 35 years, often working extra hours. Forty years later, Jakob returned to Poland and was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of constant exposure to toxic asbestos on the job. Jakob and his family are struggling to cope with the emotional and financial hardships of his diagnosis.
Roughly 1,200 Navy Veterans, shipyard workers, or maritime workers will be diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. In an all too common military scenario, Bruce, a Navy sailor, would wake up in the morning covered in what seemed to be powdered snow; only it was not powdered snow, it was asbestos.
As many young girls do, Heather often ran to the door to greet her father with a big hug when he returned home from his job sanding drywall. In 2005 and as a new mother, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma and had to have a lung removed, rendering her unable to care for her daughter. The court that heard her lawsuit estimated that the disability caused by her mesothelioma cost her more than $5 million in lost lifetime earnings. Today, Heather is a ten-year survivor of mesothelioma and advocating for patients around the world.
Throughout the 20th century, hundreds of US firms exposed their employees to deadly asbestos in a variety of industries, from construction to mining to shipyards. These individuals were victims of dangerous workplace environments and as a result, many are suffering today, unaware of the financial resources available to them for relief and support. During the last several decades, some corporations have taken responsibility for their actions, while others have simply disappeared or covered up their role in what is sometimes considered the largest man-made epidemic in US history. Your challenge is to reach these victims as the first step in providing them with the financial support that they deserve.
You will be doing more than helping good people win legal compensation for their work-related ailments. You will be bringing support, community, and awareness to sufferers globally.
This challenge will also shed light on the broader dangers of asbestos and the asbestos industry, an industry that STILL does big business in a number of developing countries including, India, Indonesia, China, Russia and Brazil.