Meso widow donates $3000 for walking trail in memory of her husband

31 Aug 2009 by under News, People

It seems that I am surrounded by stories of strong women who are enduring the loss of their husbands as a result of mesothelioma. In the middle of last week, I had lunch with my friend Cheryl Cotton, in Anniston, Ala., who lost her dear husband, Virgil, to mesothelioma three years ago. She and I met at the Meso Symposium in Washington, D.C., in June and have been corresponding by email ever since, but it was a treat to get to visit her in person. I’ll be featuring her story on this site in September, during the week leading up to Mesothelioma Awareness Day, on Sept. 26.

I was also contacted by a woman in Texas, who hoped that I could put her in touch with another woman who had lost her husband to mesothelioma. Her anniversary was approaching, and she needed to reach out to someone who would understand. Of course Cheryl willingly contacted her to lend an ear.

Then, on Friday I posted a story about a photographer in Australia, Chris Ireland, who has created an exhibition of stunning images of mesothelioma widows, called Breathe. The fourteen portraits capture the sadness and strength of these suffering ladies, and also hope to capture a bit of the men they loved. Ireland spent two years on the project, becoming closely acquainted with each of the ladies he photographed. I contacted Chris and was delighted to learn that he does have plans to bring the exhibit to the UK and to the U.S. in the coming months, and I hope that myMeso can be a part of that. I will keep you posted.

Next, I came across a story in the Morgan County Herald, a community newspaper based in McConnelsville, , which featured the story of Karen Huffman, who recently donated $3,000 to her area Kiwanis-Jaycees for the construction of a new walking trail at the community park in Malta in honor of her late husband, Danny, who passed away from mesothelioma on July 31, 2006, just four months after his diagnosis.

According to the report in the Herald, Mrs. Huffman says her husband most enjoyed his daily walks, not just for exercise, but as his quiet time to commune with God. She said he walked two or three miles each day except Sunday. It was during one of these walks that he became breathless, and unable to make it back to his home. At that point, she says, he couldn’t deny something was terribly wrong.

“Danny would have been the first walker on that trail,” the Herald quotes Mrs. Huffman as saying about the new park.

I wonder, as I read this latest news, why it seems there are so many stories of this kind around me now. Have they always been there, but my work with mesothelioma has made them more visible to me? I hope that it means that there is more awareness in the United States, and around the world, of mesothelioma, and the dangers of the that causes it.

I hope, somehow, that this site can make connections or provide the news that will bring some sort of ease, or at least a sense of community, of not being alone. It is a terrible sisterhood these women share. But perhaps just knowing there is someone else who understands will bring a small measure of comfort.

3 Responses to “Meso widow donates $3000 for walking trail in memory of her husband”

  1. mattrock

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  2. mattrock

    I believe the stories have always been there, but it is sites like yours that

    are bring them out into the open. Excellent info.

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    Nice to hear something positive for a change. Thanks.