By Robert Buscemi
The United Association Southern California Pipe Trades Council 16 presented the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America with a check for $200,000 at the Council's annual holiday lunch.
The money, all raised in 2014, will go toward a cure for mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. District Council 16 Director of Organizing John Ferruccio emceed the event December 12 at the Dodger Stadium Club. He held off announcing the impressive dollar figure until after the speeches, when a drum roll from the house band built the excitement.
“Every year, as you know, one of our main fundraisers is to find a cure for this unfortunate disease,” Ferruccio told more than 150 attendees. “Mostly, mesothelioma is affecting our grandfathers, fathers and fathers-in-law. It's gotten a lot better over the years.”
Ferruccio said the Council hosts an annual golf tournament and skeet-shooting events. In addition, the State Building and Construction Trade Council of California raises money through the annual Roger Hamilton golf invitational.
The foundation, known as MESORFA, was founded in 2001 by attorney Jerry Neil Paul, his wife Elizabeth Ann Paul and retired California Pipe Trades Representative and past Vice President of the State Building and Construction Trade Council, Jim Kellogg.
In thanking District Council 16, MESORFA Executive Director Elizabeth Paul explained that all funding goes toward research rather than administration. “All of this money goes directly to fund a lab at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center here in Los Angeles . We use 100 percent of every dollar donated toward research, for clinical trials and to fund the lab. Nothing goes for the foundation – those costs are privately underwritten.”
Paul said such research is never cheap, and other cancers get more attention and funding than mesothelioma, especially in a tight economy. Indeed, she said, MESORFA operates on a shoestring budget. “I know people don't understand that, but to bring a treatment to the public costs tens of millions of dollars.”
As such, Paul said District Council 16's annual contribution is crucial. “Everybody was extremely generous. Families took care of families. My husband Jerry and I are big on family. Your leaders at District Council 16 view your members as family. Because they have gone out of their way to make sure that there are treatments and cures for this horrible disease.”
The disease hits especially hard at workers who have been exposed to asbestos, as many Pipe Trades and other Building Trades were before protections were put in place against the toxic substance. Even now, workers confront the hazard at some job sites.
Paul then introduced Dr. Parkash Gill, who reported that he has made huge strides at his lab through the development of Veglin, a drug that treats the disease. “I'm honored to be part of it,” Gill said. “It's a worthy cause. I'm a cancer doctor, so finding a treatment for patients really is a rewarding experience. When somebody is ill and they get better and they go home and never see you again, it's wonderful.”
Gill said that patients are already seeing positive results at treatment advances. He said certain efforts have been completely successful. “This medicine, we have given to a 78-year-old patient. Two or three years out now, there's no cancer left and no side effects.”
The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America has a mission: fund research that will lead to the quickest cure for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure. This cancer disease had few treatment options until this Foundation and Dr. Parkash Gill's work created better treatment options. Today, the future looks more hopeful for additional improved treatment options available to those stricken by this cancer.
The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America began funding research for a cure in 2001 with the opening of the Mesothelioma Laboratory at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Medical Center in Los Angeles under the supervision of Dr. Parkash Gill.
Dr. Gill is a board certified oncologist and hematologist who has received FDA approval from the U.S. Government to do Clinical Trials on a mesothelioma treatment drug called Veglin. We believe there is great promise and hope in Veglin and the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America has funded 100% of Dr. Gill's research.
Veglin proved successful in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Many are very hopeful for the possibilities of a more effective cancer treatment compared to what presently is available for mesothelioma victims. We are currently in FDA approved Clinical Trials with EPH-B4 which replaced the Veglin Trials.
Dr. Parkash Gill of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has announced that the new cancer fighting drug EPH-B4 has been submitted to the FDA for Phase I Clinical Trials and is available to qualifying mesothelioma patients. In the initial Phase I Trial EPH-B4 is available to newly diagnosed patients who have not undergone any conventional treatment options and to those patients who have exhausted all other treatment options such as surgery and chemotherapy. This is truly exciting as Dr. Gill has reported that EPH-B4 has shown great promise as a solo treatment or in conjunction with other drugs as Alimta, Cisplatin and Carboplatin.
Please use our FaceBook link to obtain your FREE copy of our eBook that teaches:
Ask Dr. Gill about your specific mesothelioma issues here: Ask Dr. Gill
In addition to the eBook found at our Facebook fan page, also learn more about clinical trials from these links:
There have been significant improvements creating new options for patients with Mesothelioma lung cancer. This video presents the new options for a patient to be aware of and consider. This news release video, created by Med Page Today, is about Oncology and Lung Cancer has been shared on YouTube by the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America.
The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America is the proud recipient of a grant from the John S. Lyons Memorial Foundation, charitable branch of the San Diego Building Trades Councel, to help support clinical studies of Dr. Parkash Gill's protein known as EPH B4 as a mesothelioma cancer treatment option.
For questions related to the foundation and to make contributions please contact:
(800) 909-Meso (6376)
3011 Townsgate Rd, Suite 450
Westlake Village, CA 91361
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