November 15, 2011 – For his dedication to the mesothelioma community, Larry Davis has been named Stop Mesothelioma’s first “Advocate of the Month.” Stop Mesothelioma is a Facebook project created and sponsored by Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK Law”), which pledges to donate $1 to mesothelioma research and efforts to ban asbestos for every “Like” the page receives up to $100,000.
November 15, 2011 – Larry Davis was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006, but you won’t find him sitting on the sidelines of life. Larry Davis is a runner. He has run 18 marathons since his first in 1978 and logs 25 miles per week when not in training.
These days, Larry is running to save his own life. Larry combined his love of running with his passion for mesothelioma advocacy and awareness to found the annual South Florida Miles for Meso 8K Run & 4K Tribute Walk. This annual road race raises money for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), which supports efforts to ban asbestos and research toward a cure for mesothelioma.
For his dedication to the mesothelioma community, Larry Davis has been named Stop Mesothelioma’s first “Advocate of the Month.” Stop Mesothelioma is a Facebook project created and sponsored by Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK Law”), which pledges to donate $1 to mesothelioma research and efforts to ban asbestos for every “Like” the page receives up to $100,000.
Larry’s story starts like those of many mesothelioma victims – he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and told he had just six months to live. He was offered chemotherapy and radiation, the traditional approach to mesothelioma treatment. However, Larry decided to forego the traditional treatments. Instead, he decided to work with doctors he felt were more open-minded and offered more radical therapies. He also tried to maintain a more holistic approach to his treatment. Larry continued to run, keep a positive attitude, and drink healthy organic vitamin blends. He underwent progressive tumor removal surgery with Dr. H. Richard Alexander at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and plans to have follow-up treatment with Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj at the South Florida Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Institute.
Larry credits his active lifestyle – including his running, continuing to operate his business called Extreme Eyewear, sailing, and traveling with his wife Carol and their award-winning dogs – for his ability to keep a positive attitude and persevere through his mesothelioma treatments.
Larry also emphasizes the support his wife Carol has given him in his struggle to beat mesothelioma. “Caregivers don’t often get the credit they deserve,” says Larry. He proudly notes that Carol will be running the 2012 Boston Marathon in his honor and that Carol’s daughter Heather and son-in-law Mark Malovos have also qualified for the Boston Marathon. Larry plans to join them at the finish line.
Despite his ongoing medical treatment, Larry continues to run. In the summer of 2011, Larry was getting ready for a fifth surgery to treat his mesothelioma. Although a prior surgery almost killed him, Larry refused to spend his time worrying. Two weeks before his June 27th surgery, Larry participated in a Father’s Day Weekend Triathlon with his daughter Courtney.
It is this zest for life that impacts those around him. Sarah Hager-Karaz, whose husband passed away at the age of 44 from mesothelioma shortly after their first daughter was born, credits Larry Davis with helping her learn to believe in a cure. For Hager-Karaz, running became an outlet while she cared for her husband during his illness and raised their six-month-old daughter. After meeting Larry, “He instantly became my inspiration. [I felt] a hope I was not able to see with my husband… I looked at Larry and despite all the emotions that meeting him, knowing him, and praying for him welled up in me… I suddenly in my heart knew I finally met a man that made me believe in a cure.”
The Meso Foundation applauds Larry for his work. According to Mary Hesdorffer, Medical Liaison for the Meso Foundation, “Larry Davis is in the race of his life raising funds to support the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundations Peer Reviewed Grants Program. Larry leads the pack with many patients following in his footsteps helping the Foundation to raise awareness and fund research for more effective treatments and a cure.”
Linda Reinstein, the founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, also praises Larry’s activism. “Larry is remarkable in every sense of the word,” she says. “As a courageous and unwavering leader, Larry has boldly and tirelessly worked to ban asbestos and fund research for a cure. Always speaking the truth, Larry has greatly increased asbestos awareness to prevent exposure. I am honored to call him my friend.”
Despite the efforts of Larry and other advocates, asbestos is still not banned in the United States, and you can hear the indignation in Larry’s voice when he starts to discuss the fact that companies in the United States still import asbestos today. In an effort to change this fact, Larry actively participates in lobbying efforts to ban asbestos and to raise awareness about the health hazards of its continued use. In June of 2011, just days before his fifth mesothelioma surgery, Larry joined a group of mesothelioma advocates on Capitol Hill to lobby for this important change.
LK Law honors Larry Davis for his work on behalf of mesothelioma victims. “Larry is a tireless advocate for the mesothelioma community,” says an LK Law attorney who will be running in the February 2012 South Florida Miles for Meso race. “Not only does Larry advocate for his own best treatment, but he also influences those around him to seek better care. It is because of research funded in part by South Florida Miles for Meso that such care is available. Larry’s positive attitude shines through and impacts everyone who has the pleasure to meet him.”
Although he is recovering from a medical setback and not currently running every day, Larry expects to be logging miles again soon and looks forward to running the 3rd Annual South Florida Miles for Meso 8K Run & 4K Tribute Walk on February 12, 2012. To register for the race, go to: http://actionagainstasbestos.wordpress.com/south-florida-miles-for-meso-2012. LK Law is a Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 South Florida Miles for Meso race.
LK Law is a national law firm that has represented families affected by mesothelioma for more than 25 years. For more information, please call 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529). Visit the Stop Mesothelioma project at http://www.facebook.com/stopmeso.