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Serving Navy Veterans with Asbestos Cancer through Congressionally Directed Medical


Dear Rich:

Thanks for speaking with me about mesothelioma, a fatal asbestos-related cancer that is under-funded compared to AIDS and other forms of cancers. Of the estimated 4,000 Americans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma every year, about 32% are Navy veterans or civilians who worked in U.S. Navy shipyards. Last year MARF proposed a $140 million Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Program, which Senator Murray adopted in her Ban Asbestos Act legislation. Senator Hatch's office advised me as well that the program was long overdue and they would include the program in the final version of the FAIR Act, which as you know is no longer scheduled for debate.

After November 2, 2004, I would like to come to Washington, D.C. along with Dr. Harvey Pass, who is the Chairman of MARF's Science Advisory Board, about fashioning legislation that would directly appropriate funds to the DoD for the creation of a mesothelioma medical research and treatment program. Congress has created CDMRPs for ovarian, prostate, breast and other cancers, which are not normally associated with military service. Neither the DoD nor the Department of Veterans Affairs has any treatment or research program for mesothelioma, which remains grossly under-funded when compared to other cancers. I'm sure MARF can mobilize all of the key military veterans' groups to back a bipartisan effort to fund medical research on this long-neglected cancer.

In addition to Dr. Pass, I would also like to bring with me Mr. Phil McWeeny, who is the Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for Owens-Illinois, Inc., a defendant in asbestos litigation, who agrees with MARF that Congress has a major role to play in helping cure mesothelioma. I believe together we can secure a Republican senator to co-sponsor the appropriations bill.

I am enclosing a copy of the paper I recently presented at the medical symposium in Las Vegas at which Senator Reid recently spoke. I am also enclosing a copy of the proposed medical program which Senator Murray incorporated into her bill, along with a memorandum that discusses the history and objectives of the CDMRPs, and Dr. Harvey Pass' Roadmap for Curing Mesothelioma. MARF is the only group (public or private) that has specifically targeted mesothelioma research as a priority and we have funded over $1.3 million in grants. We would like to help administer any federal moneys appropriated.

On behalf of all the doctors, scientists and patients affiliated with MARF, I look forward to working with you.


Roger G. Worthington
Founding Director