Pacific Mesothelioma Center’s 4th Annual Walk/Hike for Meso took place this past Sunday, September 27, as
part of Mesothelioma Awareness Weekend. The hike once again took place
at the iconic old Hollywood saloon town of Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.
The sun was hot, the skies were clear and energy and anticipation were high.
Several mesothelioma patients made it out to the ranch, as well as over
300 friends and family of persons whose lives have been impacted by mesothelioma.
Each kilometer was marked with signs sponsored by families in memory of
the loved ones affected by the disease. There were also mesothelioma and
asbestos facts scattered throughout the course, and a quiz at the completion
of the walk with prizes for the top scores. Bingo was offered during the
hike for those who wanted to participate in the event, but weren’t
up for the hike and heat!
After finishing the challenging hike along 5 kilometers of dirt paths in
the hills above the ranch, hikers were greeted with cheers and a medal,
ice cold beverages and the musical stylings of the Red Muffs along with
the Jonny Cash tribute band, The Walking Phoenixes. Hikers were rewarded
a delicious lunch from Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, donated by
owner Noella Belvedere who lost her husband Ottavio to mesothelioma in 2007.
A heartfelt speech was given by Worthington & Caron friend
Terry Latham, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010 and underwent the pleurectomy
decortication surgery with Dr. Robert Cameron. Terry attributes his survival
to the specialized care of Dr. Cameron:
“To those who still struggle, you are alive, and you must fight to
live. I am living proof of the skills of Dr. Cameron and I am eternally
grateful. He saved my life.”
One of the highlights of the day was the drawing of the raffle prize winners.
Tension was high as the numbers were called. Amazing prizes were once
again up for grabs including a Napa Valley Getaway to the Chardonnay Lodge,
a Private In Home Wine Sampling Experience for up to 12 people from PRP
Wine International, two tickets to Capt. Dave's Whale Watching Safari,
two tickets to The Hollywood Wax Museum, a pizza and bowling party at
AMF Bowling, four park passes to Knott's Berry Farm and that’s
just to name a few of the many prizes! All gifts were generously donated
for the event.
When the dust finally settled, over $100,000 was raised for much-needed
research into lung-sparing treatments for mesothelioma. This amount exceeded
PMC’s goal for the event for the fourth year in a row and donations
are still coming in!
The Worthington & Caron law firm is proud to have been the lead sponsor
of the PMC Hike for Meso for the third year in a row. “It was a
joy to see so many families out there on the trail,” beamed Roger
Worthington, Worthington & Caron founder. “Despite the heat
and dust, everybody was smiling and laughing and enjoying the blessings
of doing a worthy thing for a worthy cause.”
PMC’s Annual Walk/Hike for Meso is held to honor and remember in
loving memory of Ottavio Belvedere, Bruce Bell, Mark Ganoe, Charles Jarvis,
Sr., John Johnson, David Baeza, Gene Lepore, Gerry McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy,
Rosa Gonzalez, Robert Vitale and to all those who have lost their battle
with mesothelioma. A special thanks to Clare Cameron, Executive Director
of the Pacific Mesothelioma Center and Super Volunteer Victoria Adams,
as well as all of the volunteers and participants who made this event
possible with their time and support.