Mesothelioma has been regarded as a "blue collar disease." Nothing
could be further from the truth. They don't respect the color of your
collar, and asbestos certainly doesn't respect physical fitness.
We represent a wide variety of mesothelioma patients, from doctors to judges,
priests to teachers, engineers to accountants, and housewives to city
mayors. We even represent avid cyclists who could not escape their fate.
Their exposures range from a few decades to a few weeks. Every asbestos
fiber is a carcinogen, and every fiber lodged in the lung linings can
potentially initiate the malignancy process.
So, today, as the brightly colored peloton rolls from San Jose over Patterson
Pass on its way to Modesto, the Law Offices of Roger G. Worthington offers
this tribute to the athletes who did everything right -- they worked hard,
they cared for their families, they ate right and exercised regularly
-- but fell victim to mesothelioma as a result of their exposure to asbestos.
Terry McCann of Dana Point, CA won a gold medal in wrestling at the 1960
Olympic Games in Rome. In his later years he helped found the national
governing body for the sport, the United States Wrestling Federation.
He was an avid surfer and weightlifter. He served as the president of
the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental group dedicated to keeping
our oceans clean. He was exposed to asbestos at a refinery for about six
months while training for the Olympics. He died of mesothelioma at the
age of 72.
Elizabeth Clancy of Houston, TX took gymnastics from the time she was three
years old until she was eleven. She earned a black belt in tae kwan do
and became an instructor by the time she was 20 years old. She was a 4.0
student at the Colorado State University and was working as an investment
banker when she was diagnosed. She was contaminated with asbestos while
attending elementary school. She died of mesothelioma at the age of 23.
David Pickens of Prescott Valley, AZ was a marathon runner who developed
his own treatment program based on healthy foods, exercise and a sense
of humor. He was exposed to asbestos while serving 25 years in the in
the US Navy. He was exposed on several Naval vessels as they were drydocked
for repairs or overhauls as well as during missions as sea. He died at
the age of 75.
Doug Walters of San Diego, CA was a decorated police officer, sergeant
and hugely popular surfer. He saved the lives of children from floods
and burning apartments. He died of mesothelioma at the age of 50.
Chris Stoeckler (left) of Ft. Atkinson, WI was a motorcross competitor
sponsored by Honda motorcycles with a nine year old daughter when he was
diagnosed. He was exposed as a mechanic for three years. He died of mesothelioma
at the age of 44.
Jorge Uribe of Kennewick, WA was a fit and trim teenager when he was diagnosed
with mesothelioma. He was looking forward to a productive life with his
18 month old daughter and new bride. He was exposed as a young child.
He died of mesothelioma at the age of 20.
Albert Bercher (right) of Huntington Beach, CA was diagnosed with mesothelioma
three years ago. Before his diagnosis he rode his bike every day. He feels
that being in good shape before his diagnosis helped him during his treatments.
Albert is 77 years old and back on the bike. He's a big fan of the
Tour of California. Hammer on Albert!
David "Punch" Worthington, PH.D, of Keizer, OR, was a college
boxer, football player, U.S. Marine, college biology professor and labor
union organizer. He was an avid bow hunter, cross country skier, and canoeist.
He was exposed while working odd jobs during college. He died from asbestosis
and lung cancer in 2006 and we dedicated an asbestos cancer research laboratory
in his name at UCLA Medical School
We also want to mention Dr. Alfred Dean, of Newtown, PA. Dr. Dean was a
dentist for forty years. Although the picture of good health and a poster
boy for clean living, Dr. Dean died from mesothelioma in 2008. Dr. Dean's
grandson, Jon Chodroff, races for Team Ouch, which Roger G. Worthington,
PC is pleased to co-sponsor. Jon is a recent graduate from Yale as well
as the 2008 US National Time Trial Champion. Jon recalls:
"When I graduated from Yale my grandfather encouraged me to pursue
my cycling dream. I'm thankful he lived long enough to see me sign
with OUCH pro cycling. When I ride, I think of him, and how he struggled
to breathe with a giant tumor around his lung. When I throw the hammer
down, I choose to suffer. My granddad didn't have a choice, like thousands
of other mesothelioma patients, snuffed out by asbestos before their time.
I'm also grateful that my family was able to learn more about therapies
for my grandfather from Roger Worthington and his vast website about mesothelioma.
I appreciate his sponsorship of Team OUCH and I hope that through our
team's success we can bring more attention to the ravages of this
preventable cancer and encourage support towards finding a cure."
Jon won't be in the peloton today but we'll be thinking about Dr.
Dean today as we remember the thousands of fit, happy, hard working, productive,
charitable and courageous Americans, from Steve McQueen to Warren Zevon
toAdmiral Elmo Zumwalt to Congressman Bruce Vento, whose lives were taken
prematurely by asbestos, a deadly fiber that does not respect fame, fortune,
beauty, power, courage or physical fitness.
For information about mesothelioma medical and legal options, please call
The Law Office of Roger Worthington, PC, of San Pedro, California, at
800 831 9399.