Billy Ray, Miley Cyrus draw attention to mesothelioma

8 Apr 2009 by under Events, Legal, News, People

cyrus 100x100 Billy Ray, Miley Cyrus draw attention to mesotheliomaAn interview published Sunday, April 5, by the Boston Globe featured an interview with popular country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus, and his daughter Miley Cyrus, who is probably more famous now than her father was in his heyday. Billy Ray is known to a generation of 1980s country music fans for his hit single “Achy Breaky Heart” but is probably better known among a younger generation of teens and ‘tweens simply as the father of their idol, Disney superstar Miley Cyrus, of the network’s “Hannah ” series.

Discussing the atmosphere of celebrity in which Miley grew up, as the daughter of a performer, the interview veers off to mention Billy Ray’s roots as the son of a steelworker father, Ron Cyrus, who went on to serve 21 years in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Almost offhandedly, the story mentions that Ron Cyrus passed away of , which he almost certainly contracted through his exposure to asbestos in the mills.

Perhaps the paper felt this tidbit was relevant to its Boston audience because the elder Mr. Cyrus visited Boston for treatment of his mesothelioma, and son Billy Ray wrote a colorful country tune, “I Want My Mullet Back,” in honor of a former Red Sox baseball player. In his day, Billy Ray was famous for his own long mullet haircut, a style cropped short on top and sides but long in the back (“business in the front, party in the back”).

The mention of mesothelioma seems random, but there’s more to the story.

Ron Cyrus passed away on February 28, 2006. He had served in the Kentucky House of Representatives for Kentucky’s 98th Legislative District, beginning in 1975, and was elected to 11 consecutive terms before retiring in 1996. He was 70 years old when he passed away, and old reports from that time list his cause of death simply as “lung cancer.”

In March 2006, at the end of its regular session, both houses of the Kentucky State Legislature observed a moment of silence in honor of Ron Cyrus’s passing.

But now, in its 2009 session, the Kentucky legislature is once again recognizing the issue of mesothelioma and asbestos awareness, and, along with it, Ron Cyrus.

First, on Feb. 6, Representative Ancel Smith and Rep. Sannie Overly introduced HR95, a resolution to recognize September 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, as designated by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) and supported by U.S. Congressional resolution.

HR95 was established in Kentucky to honor “those who have fallen victim to this disease in the Commonwealth” and names “former legislator Ron Cyrus; Todd Hall, a bright, young University of Kentucky graduate who had started a successful business; [and] Allen Conley, a naval architect and marine engineer exposed to asbestos in the Yorktown, Virginia Naval shipbuilding yards…”

The resolution was adopted in the House by voice vote on Feb. 9.

Then, on Feb. 23, HB519 was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives, sponsored by Representatives Ancel Smith, Keith Hall,  Tom Burch, Leslie Combs, Ted Edmonds, Jeff Greer and Brent Housman. The Act would designate Sept. 26 of each year as Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and would be known as “The Ron Cyrus and Todd Hall Mesothelioma Awareness Act of 2009.”

The bill passed the house by a vote of 97-0 on March 10, with 3 not voting.

The bill was introduced in the Senate designated as SB58, sponsored by Johnny Ray Turner, where it passed unanimously by a vote of 36-0 on March 3.

Read SB58.

Read HB519.

Read House Resolution 95.

7 Responses to “Billy Ray, Miley Cyrus draw attention to mesothelioma”

  1. pollyboore61

    I am a surviver of pertineal meso. I got this deadly diease from my grandfather who worked on the railroad where asbestos just flew through the buildings.. I will have this for the rest of my life… Many of my friends are dying each day from this deadly cancer.. We all need your help to get the work out about this. Funds for finding some kind of a cure would be wonderful… This cancer is world wide.. We need your help!!!
    Polly
    pb0409@hotmail.com
    marf.com

  2. mikecrill

    Yes this is a World wide exposure and yes MILLIONS are sick and dying today.I understand it will take FIVE Generations of dying before we see a decline in people dying from asbestos exposure…ONLY IF WE DO SOMETHING NOW.One person CAN make a difference and save thousands of families from this deadly Holocaust that was done to all of us.What I have done since 1999 is continued warnings to stay the hell away from Libby Mt.Libby is not safe to many thing that breathes.Govt. sells Libby as safe.Govt. continues to kill more people by selling Libby as safe.This is a deadly lie.Each one of us has to educate the people from what was done to us.No one will ever tell me this did not happen. I am dying proof as all the rest of us dying from the very same thing by the very same murderous Bas#%&#.Saving people is not inviting them into the same place over 2000 people told why they are sick and dying.May I suggest a list of all the towns where this Tremolite asbestos went from Libby Mt. And then, all the rail road routes out of Libby because just living next to the Rail road tracks causes Mesothelioma.This is a fact. I am wondering if we can escape this Holocaust that was done to us.Maybe we are all doomed as a Meso Epidemic is happening right now and will excellerate in the next 10 to 30 years.I shall pray for all of us and for those we leave behind.Wish I could do more.Wish I could save the world.Wish this never happened.I wish for this to never happen again.Stay away from Libby Mt.Thank you and God Bless all of us in this boat ride to hell.

  3. BeasleyAllen

    Hello Polly,

    Thank you so much for your comments, and for sharing your personal
    experience with mesothelioma. It is truly a tragedy and a travesty that
    so many people knew about the dangers of asbestos exposure for so long,
    but the public was largely unaware. Even now, so many people think
    asbestos is a problem of the past that has been eradicated. I appreciate
    your willingness to speak out and to call for funding for treatment and
    a cure.

    Blessings,

    Wendi Lewis
    Beasley, Allen

  4. Marlyn Landin

    I am a Pleural Meso sarvivor of nine years. I am one of a few that has been lucky and had great medical care. Mine was found early so I am cancer free and have been for nines years, If we can get the word out that we need funding for Research, and that we need to band Asbestos from being used in the states at all. Asbestos is still being used here it comes from overseas but we still use it.
    The 9-11 towers was full of Asbestos so all the poeple in that mess can come down with this Cancer.
    Like I said I am the lucky one, But I have freinds that are not so lucky as to have a lung and ribs removed so that they may live. I was exposed in my Grade School Yes Grade School.See you do not always have to work in it to become a victium of this cancer. I pray that on one else has to go thur what I and so many more have gone thur because of this fiber . Please help us BAN ASBESTOS ADN FINE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH.

    I

  5. Marlyn Landin

    I am a Pleural Meso sarvivor of nine years. I am one of a few that has been lucky and had great medical care. Mine was found early so I am cancer free and have been for nines years, If we can get the word out that we need funding for Research, and that we need to band Asbestos from being used in the states at all. Asbestos is still being used here it comes from overseas but we still use it.

    The 9-11 towers was full of Asbestos so all the poeple in that mess can come down with this Cancer.

    Like I said I am the lucky one, But I have freinds that are not so lucky as to have a lung and ribs removed so that they may live. I was exposed in my Grade School Yes Grade School.See you do not always have to work in it to become a victium of this cancer. I pray that on one else has to go thur what I and so many more have gone thur because of this fiber . Please help us BAN ASBESTOS ADN FINE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH.

    I

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  7. Bennie Cameron

    Bennie Cameron

    My daughter Janelle Cameron Bedel passed away as a early age of 37 years old after 6 hard years of battling this disease and would appreciate you and Miley participate in the ADAO Awareness Organization so this organzation can help banned the use of Asbestos in the USA….Thank you and hope you 2 can help us get this ban on Asbestos as i miss my daughter and she was to young to have suffered this horrible disease….