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Heather Von St. James
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In 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to a beautiful daughter Lily Rose, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Upon learning of this life-altering diagnosis, Heather, together with her husband Cameron, embarked upon a search to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available. Their search eventually led them to Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women's hospital. Dr. Sugarbaker recommended a relatively new surgical procedure called extrapleural pneumonectomy, a groundbreaking treatment option offered through the International Mesothelioma Program. Although there were some risks associated with the procedure, it also carried promise for the best possible outcome. Heather, with full support from her husband and family, agreed to have the surgery.

Today, Heather Von St. James is a nine-year mesothelioma cancer survivor and continues to provide unending inspiration to mesothelioma victims around the globe. She carries out her mission to be a beacon of hope for those afflicted with mesothelioma by sharing her story of faith, love and courage both as a keynote speaker at conferences and through social media forums.

Read Heather's full story here:

Entries by Heather Von St. James

My Survival Paradox: Finding Family and Justice After Loss

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 5:34 PM

It's the end of month six of my 10 years in 10 months survival series, and I've now taken you through more than half of my journey with mesothelioma. It's almost unnerving to think that so much time can be condensed in so few words, but the experience...

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10 Years in 10 Months: A Serial of Survival

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 7:05 PM

It's been almost 10 years since the light switch of my life was flipped, changing its color forever; 10 years since I was diagnosed with cancer -- with malignant pleural mesothelioma. It's also nearing my 10-year anniversary as a survivor. The tragic part of this story? The cause of this...

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ADAO 2015: Asbestos Awareness at the Forefront

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 7:32 PM

Over the past few years, I've been fortunate enough to attend the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization's (ADAO) annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference. In 2010, ADAO Co-founder Linda Reinstein asked me to speak and share my story of my experience with asbestos and mesothelioma. I always say Linda gave me my...

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9 Years of Survivorship: A New Perspective on Lung Leavin' Day

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 2:57 PM


Every year following Lung Leavin' Day, I write a recap of the evening. This year I wanted to do something a little different. I know the event has a huge effect on people, and in the last couple of years people...

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LungLeavin' Day: How We Turned Something Tragic Into Something Good

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 4:54 PM

A sense of humor can help get you through the scariest of times; poking fun at something takes the fear away. Humor is the way that my husband Cameron and I handled one of the most terrifying and trying times in our lives. I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma...

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Here We Go Again...

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 11:02 AM

"You may want to go home and get your affairs in order."

Those were words my parents were told by a doctor who had no business saying such a thing to them. This doctor was simply the guy on duty who was making rounds, and after looking at an...

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Why Mesothelioma Awareness Day Means a Lot to Me

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 4:38 PM

A friend of mine once told me: There is no more innocent victim than a person diagnosed with mesothelioma. They are sick as a direct result of being exposed to a substance that should be banned, but shockingly is still widely used around the world. I am talking about asbestos....

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From Tragedy to Triumph

(3) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 4:29 PM

I am a wife, a mother and a mesothelioma warrior. I have a story to tell, one that starts with tragedy but ends in triumph. Although my journey is exclusive to me, it contains personal struggles in which others can find a piece of their own battle. My story is...

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Surviving Is Not the End, but Just the Beginning

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 5:10 PM

What does it mean to be a survivor? And I'm not talking about outsmarting a bunch of other people on an island in the South Pacific. I'm talking surviving something that you're not supposed to. Something that shakes your very foundation and makes you find out what you're truly made...

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