Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

My Cancer blogger has passed away

18 Aug 2008 by under News, People

Earlier this summer I wrote about a blog on National Public Radio called My Cancer. Written by the former executive producer of ABC’s “Nightline” program, Leroy Sievers, the blog was accompanied by weekly podcast, and provided a frank and honest look at living with a cancer diagnosis. In 2001, Sievers was diagnosed with and successfully overcame colon cancer. Then, in 2005, cancer returned, affecting his brain and his lungs. Seivers passed away Friday, at age 53.

The My Cancer blog inspired thousands of cancer survivors from around the world and boasted upward of 30,000 comments. Sievers also appeared on ABC newsman Ted Koppel’s “Living with Cancer” television special, which was broadcast by The Discovery Channel in May 2007, as well as a special broadcast of NPR’s Talk of the Nation program that addressed the same “Living with Cancer” topic, which aired July 9, 2008, also hosted by Koppel and featuring cancer survivor Elizabeth Edwards.

“Leroy gave voice to a topic that we are very uncomfortable with — death and dying,” Ellen McDonnell, NPR’s morning programming director, said in a statement. “My Cancer had a face and a heart and a smile.”

Sievers is survived by his wife, Laurie Singer.

A memorial fund has been set up to honor Sievers memory and work. Donations can be made to the following address:

Leroy Sievers Memorial Fund
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center
Patient and Family Services
100 N. Charles Street
Suite 234
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Cancer blogger, Edwards on NPR tomorrow

8 Jul 2008 by under News, People

A couple days ago I talked about the NPR blogger Leroy Sievers, who writes “My Cancer” about his experiences since being diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago. Sievers will be featured on the NPR program Talk of the Nation tomorrow, July 9, along with Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate and Senator John Edwards, for a special show about living with cancer. The special program will be hosted by , and you can participate!

Elizabeth Edwards is a breast cancer survivor who currently is battling a recurrence of her cancer, as a small tumor in her bone.

Sievers worked with Koppel for 14 years on the news program Nightline before joining NPR, and their conversations about Sievers’ experience were the core of Koppel’s three-hour primetime special Living with Cancer that aired in 2007.

Talk of the Nation airs midday. For local stations and broadcast times in your area, visit

Listeners can participate in this program by calling 1-800-989-8255 or emailing The program also is available as streaming audio and as a daily podcast at and on the “NPR Now” and “NPR Talk” 24/7 public radio channels on Sirius satellite radio.

Blog asks, ‘Finish this Sentence: My cancer…’

1 Jul 2008 by under News, People

There is an absolutely amazing blog over at NPR (National Public Radio), written by . A journalist for more than 25 years, Leroy has worked at and ABC News, where he was the executive producer at Nightline. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Doctors estimated he had between 3 and 6 months to live. He began the NPR blog, called My Cancer, accompanied by a weekly podcast and monthly broadcast on Morning Edition, to talk about cancer.

During those two years, Leroy battled his brain tumor, and then cancer that attacked his spine. Now, his latest scan shows his cancer has all but taken over his body, affecting his brain, liver, lungs and bones. He’s managing his pain, realizing his time is short.

Leroy never really expected to still be writing the blog two years after his initial diagnosis, and yet the time is still too short. In a recent post, he wonders if there is a lesson in this unique struggle. He asks, “Have I missed something? A lesson that the disease was trying to pass on?”

In the years that he’s been writing the blog, Leroy has inspired so many people who are waging their own battles with cancer – all types of cancer. And so he posed this question to them. He asked them to “Finish this sentence: My Cancer….”

The results are emotional – they span anger, despair, heartbreak, peace, humor, strength – the tumble of feelings experienced by cancer patients and their caregivers, family members and loved ones.

Take a look. Add your thoughts about your own struggles with mesothelioma, as a patient or someone who loves another afflicted with this terrible illness.

And send a little prayer for Leroy as he faces what may be the final steps on this long and difficult journey. Thank you, Leroy, for sharing of yourself so honestly, and through your experiences providing comfort and hope and laughter, and an assurance that it’s ok to sometimes be weak, or afraid, or angry, or despairing, to so many people.

Hamilton Jordan, Pres. Carter’s chief of staff, dies of mesothelioma

22 May 2008 by under News

hamilton jordan 2 Hamilton Jordan, Pres. Carters chief of staff, dies of mesotheliomaHamilton Jordan 1944-2008. Hamilton Jordan, who served as President Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff, died Tuesday, May 20, after a battle with mesothelioma.

This was the fourth time Jordan battled cancer. In the 1980s, he was diagnosed with leukemia lymphoma. About 10 years later, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He also had two battles with skin cancer. In 2000, Jordan wrote a book about his experience with cancer, titled “No Such Thing as a Bad Day,” which provided inspiration to cancer survivors.

He and his wife, Dorothy, founded , a nonprofit camp for children with cancer, and Camp Kudzu, a nonprofit camp for children with Type 1 diabetes. Jordan also founded the Georgia Cancer Coalition, a $1 billion organization funded by tobacco settlement money.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published the following statement from Jordan’s family:

The Jordan Family greatly appreciates the overwhelming amount of love and support we have received from our friends during the many difficult years of Hamilton’s illness. We are saddened beyond words at his death, but we are also at peace knowing that he is finally comfortable after years of fighting an incurable disease. A truly unforgettable person, Hamilton will be remembered as a compassionate, brilliant, and selfless human being who touched so many lives with his limitless generosity.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that your donations be sent to any of the following charitable organizations:

The Hamilton Jordan Mesothelioma Research Fund at the University of Maryland-Baltimore Foundation, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, 100 North Green Street, Suite 600, Baltimore MD 21201

Camp Sunshine, 1850 Clairmont Road, Decatur, GA 30033, enriching the lives of children with cancer through recreational, educational and support programs throughout the year

Camp Kudzu, 4279 Roswell Road, Suite 102, Box 254, Atlanta, GA 30342, providing education, recreation and peer-networking programs for children with diabetes

Community Advanced Practice Nurses, Inc., 173 Boulevard NE Atlanta GA 30312, offering free mental and physical healthcare to the homeless and medically underserved.

A memorial service for Hamilton Jordan, White House chief of staff during the Carter administration, will be held with family and close friends at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 23, at The Carter Center. Seating begins at 1 p.m. President Carter as well as other friends and colleagues over the years, will offer remarks and reminiscences. The event will not be open to press coverage.

Asbestos hazard forces 31,000-acre land closing

8 May 2008 by under Events

ba clear creek graphic 150x150 Asbestos hazard forces 31,000 acre land closingApproximately 31,000 acres of public land in California’s Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) have been closed to all forms of entry and public use by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, based on the results of an CCMA Asbestos Exposure and Human Health Risk Assessment. The closure order was issued by the Bureau on May 1.

The closure order states, “This closure is necessary to protect public land users from human health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos in the CCMA based upon a final report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency that concludes that public use activities could expose an individual to excess lifetime cancer risks. The order will remain in effect while the BLM completes a Resource Management Plan for the CCMA to determine if and how visitor use can occur without associated health risks.”

The risk in this area comes from natural deposits of asbestos. Asbestos is linked to mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer.

The San Francisco Chronicle, on the web site, quotes Jere Johnson, a project manager with the EPA, as saying, “Frankly, we were surprised at how high the levels of asbestos are at Clear Creek. What we found is that there is a lot of asbestos in the soil, and when you disturb the soil it poses a health risk.”

Chronicle reporter Carolyn Jones says outdoor enthusiasts are not happy about the area’s closing, and are skeptical of the danger. She quotes Don Amador, Western representative for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, an outdoor advocacy group, as saying, “It’s unprecedented, as far as public land issues go. We’re going to want to fight it, either administratively or in court.”

The article says the area will most likely be off-limits for at least a few years, while the Bureau of Land Management completes its own study.

There will be a public meeting tonight at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, from 6-9 p.m. There also will be an open house from 3-5 p.m. Additional meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. May 19 at Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 649 San Benito Street in Hollister; and 6-8 p.m. May 21 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose.

If you live in the area, please let me know if you attend any of these meetings. We will follow this issue and let you know if there are new developments.

Asbestos in CSI toy sparks lawsuits

16 Apr 2008 by under Legal, Organizations

Public Justice recently filed suit in federal and California state courts against CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Planet Toys, Inc., and several retail manufacturers in response to their production and marketing of CSI toy kits containing asbestos. Asbestos has been linked to , a deadly lung cancer, as well as other cancers, asbestosis and pulmonary fibrosis.

CBS licenses the toy, which is based on its popular CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ television program. Planet Toys is the manufacturer.

According to a Public Justice press release, the federal complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that CBS and Planet Toys were negligent in their quality control measures and that they promoted the CSI toys although they contained a hazardous and potentially lethal carcinogen.

In November 2007, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) released results of a study of a number of products, including the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ Fingerprint Examination Kit. It was found that the CSI toy’s fingerprinting powder contained asbestos. The fingerprinting powder containing asbestos also can be found in related CSI toy kits, the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ Field Kit and the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ™ Forensic Lab Kit.

The story was covered in the news media, including CNN, in December 2007. On Feb. 21 CNN did a follow-up report and noted that the Planet Toys had not yet issued a recall.

Public Justice reports that in a meeting including representatives from ADAO, CBS and Planet toys in December 2007, CBS and Planet Toys agreed to remove some of the toys from store shelves, and to work with Public Justice to further test the toys. However, Public Justice reports that months later, there has been no joint testing, Planet Toys continues to deny the products contain asbestos, and there has been no recall.

The Public Justice press release quotes Linda Reinstein, executive director of ADAO, who says, “Our pleas for the companies to do the right thing have fallen on deaf ears. It is unacceptable and unnecessary to have asbestos in toys, and especially in powder form, its most dangerous state. Most Americans falsely believe asbestos has been banned, but our recent product testing results prove asbestos remains a threat to public health.”

The federal complaint is a class action suit that asks the defendants to “provide refunds to consumers, pay for asbestos testing of toys that have been opened, and pay for appropriate medical treatment for consumers who have been exposed to asbestos,” according to the release. The state lawsuit “seeks civil penalties for violations of the law, in addition to injunctive relief.

Read the full text of the Public Justice press release here. This site also contains links to the federal and California state complaints.

Public Justice is a membership-supported law firm with more than 3,500 members, comprised of trial lawyers, other attorneys, and public interest advocates worldwide.

ADAO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of “asbestos awareness, education, advocacy, prevention, support and a cure.”

What is Mesothelioma?

27 Feb 2008 by under