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Mesothelioma Expert to Receive Award at Regional Therapies Conference
Mesothelioma expert, Mary Hesdorffer, has been selected to receive the Gabriella Graham Patient Advocacy award at the 12th International Regional Therapies conference in Snowbird, UT.

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - February 17, 2017) - The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has announced today that its executive director, Mary Hesdorffer, has been selected as the recipient of the Gabriella Graham Patient Advocacy Award. This award honors individuals who have dedicated significant time and effort to help patients obtain the best care possible; have increased awareness and provided education of the disease to health care providers; and have promoted research efforts to expand understanding of the disease and improve treatment. The award is presented by the coordinating committee for the 12th International Regional Therapies meeting, taking place on Saturday, February 18th in Snowbird, UT.

"Through Ms. Hesdorffer's efforts at the Foundation, she has clearly exemplified the meaning of the word advocate," said Dr. Laura Lambert of UMass Memorial, a spokesperson for the event.

"Not only does she provide people with the information and resources they need to get the optimal treatment for mesothelioma, even more importantly, through her personal connection with patients and their families, she helps them with the even harder process of healing from this life-threatening disease," Dr. Lambert added.

Mary Hesdorffer has been working in the field of mesothelioma for nearly 20 years, during which she has cared for mesothelioma patients in a number of roles, including her most recent as executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

"Mary works tirelessly on behalf of the mesothelioma community and I am thrilled that her work is recognized with this award. Recognition is not something she seeks, but she truly deserves it," said Melinda Kotzian, chief executive officer of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

The purpose of this conference, which is sponsored by the David C. Koch Regional Cancer Therapy Center, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, and UPMC CancerCenter, is to facilitate an exchange of regional cancer therapies information among physicians.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. With the life expectancy of less than one year after diagnosis, medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards. Currently, few treatment options exist. There is no cure.

The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer-reviewed scientific research to develop life-saving treatments for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $9.4 million to research. More information is available at

Maja Belamaric,
(703) 879-3822
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
1317 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

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