It might sound crazy to some people, but mesothelioma survivor Heather Von St. James, her family, friends and ever-growing network of meso warriors are getting ready to celebrate the 8th annual Lung Leavin’ Day on Februrary 2, 2014. The celebration was devised to mark the anniversary of Heather’s extrapleural pneumonectomy – a radical treatment for mesothelioma in which a lung, part of the diaphragm and surrounding tissue is removed in an effort to battle the rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Those who have followed this blog for a while, or who follow Heather on her Facebook page, Twitter or her own blog at mesothelioma.com are no doubt familiar with the event. What started in 2007 as a family celebration of life, hope and victory has grown to include people from all over the world, some who make the trip to be there in person at Heather’s home in Minnesota, and others who are there in spirit. Last year, more than 75 people attended, and the event raised more than $4,500 for mesothelioma awareness and research. This year, Heather plans a live webcast of the event, so that even more people can join in the celebration.
A key element of the event is smashing plates into a bonfire. Heather and her husband, Cam, came up with the idea of writing her fears on a plate and then throwing the plate into the fire to banish the fear. She explains in an article published on The Huffington Post, “The celebration is not just for cancer survivors or warriors, it’s for everyone. Each individual has a fear to overcome. We even get the kids involved! We give paper plates to the little kids and let them write things they are afraid of too, so they can throw their plates and fears into the fire.”
There is an AMAZING “Lung Leavin’ Day” page on mesothelioma.com that not only provides background about the event and the tradition, but invites visitors to write their fear on a virtual plate at the online site, which you can then virtually smash!
Source: Huffington Post