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.
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
||"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.