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From One Man’s Unjust Death, A National Justice Movement – U.S. House Passes Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Tony Buszinski was driven to make things better for others. He helped build his church. He set up and operated its audio-visual equipment. He worked in a Pittsburgh steel mill as a maintenance welder. He would scrape the dusty asbestos insulation off the pipes, furnaces and boilers. Then he made the repairs necessary to keep them running in top condition.

buszinski_nancy
Nancy Buszinski

In 1998, at the young age of 48, Tony was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos. Shortly after being diagnosed, Tony learned that the companies who made the asbestos products had known since the 1930’s that asbestos was lethal, but they never told any workers or consumers.

It would have been understandable for a cancer patient to retreat in the face of so much hardship. But Tony and his wife Nancy chose to fight back.

Tony fought back against his disease by enduring a radical, seven-hour extra pleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery – thought at the time to be the best treatment for mesothelioma. He spent months recovering from the radical surgery.

Tony and Nancy also fought back against the companies whose asbestos products were responsible for his disease. We are proud that Tony and Nancy entrusted the Law Office of Roger Worthington with the important job of waging this battle on their behalf. Roger Worthington recalls that:

“With Tony and Nancy, the case never seemed to be about themselves. They knew that what happened to Tony could and would happen to thousands of others. Tony and Nancy saw a opportunity to hold the responsible parties accountable and, in so doing, educate others about the need for a cure for this horrible disease and a long-overdue ban of asbestos.”

Tony fought valiantly against his illness. But just seventeen months after he was diagnosed, Tony took his last, labored breath.

Tony was gone, but for Nancy, the fight for justice continued. She asked Roger Worthington how she could help. He directed her to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, the first non-profit medical research foundation dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma, which Roger had recently founded with the top mesothelioma doctors across the country.

Nancy joined MARF and connected with other volunteers. They set out on a national campaign to raise awareness about the disease and the need for research so that others might avoid the same fate as Tony’s.

Nancy’s first success was local. In 2003, the City of Pittsburgh declared September 26 – Tony’s and Nancy’s wedding anniversary – as Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Since then, dozens of cities and states have declared September 26 Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

This week, ten years after Nancy lost Tony and began her campaign, the U.S. Congress finally passed House Resolution 771, permanently declaring September 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day throughout the country.

"What the asbestos companies did to Tony and me they did to millions of Americans," said Nancy. "The US government probably knew about it. When we hired the Worthington firm, we were thinking about our own family, but also about the larger campaign to put the government back on the side of the people. I'm happy after all these years Washington D.C. has finally acted."

We salute Nancy for her dedication, hard work and faith. We are privileged to represent Nancy and advocates just like her.

For more information about Mesothelioma Awareness Day, or how you can help advocate for greater federal funding of mesothelioma treatment research, call 800 831 9399 or email us at info@rgwpc.com.

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