1934 - 2006
"Now, let me tell you what happened. Roger had a fundraiser at his
house a couple of weeks ago. I was invited. I couldn't go the full
time. My wife brought me over for a short period of time and then we sat
down and we talked. Anyway, he raised $100,000 for research. I don't
know a whole lot of people around here that's doing that.
And one of the doctors that I met with most recently was Dr. Robert Cameron
for a third opinion, because he had some surgery that might be able to
fix this thing. And I'm not a very good candidate. I have got it pretty
bad all over the inside, so it has got hold me.
But my doctors have been giving me hope -- 'Wait for the next new thing
coming down. It's got to be coming down.' That's what they
tell you. And I asked Dr. Cameron, 'Is there anything new coming down?
Because I don't have a lot of time.' He said, "No."
And I said, "Why?" And he said, "Well, all of the money
has gone to HIV. It's gone to lung cancer from smoking. It's gone
to heart surgery -- it's going to HIV. And mesothelioma is the last
I asked, "Why?"
"There's no money in it. 5,000 people get it a year," he
said. We don't know how many millions have died. And he told me that,
you know, the pharmaceutical companies really don't want to invest
because the payback is too far down the line. And I said, "It's
a marketing issue, isn't it?" And he said, "That's right."
And then Roger asked me to sit on the board of this new foundation to raise
some funds. And I said, "I definitely want to do it. But I have to
think about it first." Because I had just resigned from Surfing America,
the national governing body for surfing, because I can't handle a
lot of things right now.
You know Roger better than I do. You have probably faced him before. He
is a pretty tough character.
I want you to know why this guy works so damned hard and is so dedicated.
It's because his father has asbestos cancer. He got it about the same
time I had. He's probably in the same shape I'm in. So that's
what you are up against. It's in his heart and it's in his soul.
And I have to tell you, we didn't talk about this. And I feel that
he is probably a little ticked off that I'm even bringing it up. But
that's the way it is. And I feel in my heart that I have to say this."
Dr. Robert Cameron (Director of MARF), Terry, Chris Hahn (Executive Director
of MARF) and Roger Worthington (Founding Director of MARF) at the MARF
An Evening with Chris Botti, September 2, 2005
(photo courtesy of Dana Point News)