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    The 10th Annual Miles for Meso 5K will take place Saturday, Sept. 22, at Simmons Hanly Conroy in Alton.
    Organizers hope to top last year’s fundraising efforts in their mission to, a rare and often fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

simmons runningScenes from past Miles for Meso events.    Established in 2009 by Simmons Hanly Conroy, the Miles for Meso 5K has drawn thousands of people to the Riverbend area for to support those affected by mesothelioma. Simmons, a leading nationwide law firm that represents mesothelioma victims and their families, joins forces with Metro Tri Club of Edwardsville, Illinois, to host and produce the event every year. Since its inception, the race has raised more than $400,000.
    “When we hosted the first Miles for Meso race 10 years ago, we had no idea how much it would grow,” said John Simmons, chairman and founder of Simmons Hanly Conroy. “It now welcomes more than 1,000 people to the area every year and has inspired the creation of other Miles for Meso 5K events nationwide.”
    For the fifth straight year, proceeds from the event will benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) – the largest independent asbestos victims’ organization in the United States. It was founded in 2004 to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice, to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and to work toward a global asbestos ban. Last year, the event raised $30,000 for the ADAO.
simmons finishScenes from past Miles for Meso events.    “Our firm works daily to bring justice to those diagnosed with mesothelioma,” Simmons continued. “ADAO understands the need to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos, help families who are fighting, and prevent future suffering. We are proud to work with them to further the cause.”
Linda Reinstein and the late Doug Larkin co-founded ADAO in 2004 after their loved ones were diagnosed with mesothelioma. They knew thousands of others were going through what they and their families were experiencing and felt compelled to take action. Linda’s husband, Alan, was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2003. After almost three years of battling mesothelioma and undergoing numerous radical surgeries and chemotherapy, Alan passed away in May 2006. Since then, Linda has continued to advocate on behalf of mesothelioma warriors, survivors and their families, not afraid to take the fight directly to lawmakers.
    “Our fight to ban asbestos has never been tougher or more important,” Reinstein said. “Each year, nearly 40,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused diseases. We will be sharing educational and advocacy materials at the race on how to identify asbestos, manage the health risk, and provide updates about our progress toward federal action to ban asbestos.”
    This year’s race will begin at 9 a.m. at Simmons Hanly Conroy, located at 1 Court Street in Alton – across from Marquette High School. Participants can register until Sept. 16 for $30, until Sept. 20 for $35, or pay $40 to register on race day. Registration fees will include a long-sleeve, moisture-wicking shirt.
    People who are unable to make it to the event are still welcome to participate through a virtual race for $30. Virtual-race participants are asked to form a team and participate on race day by running or walking wherever they are while sporting their Miles for Meso shirt. They’re encouraged to upload a photo of their team to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #MilesforMeso.
    To register for either the Alton race or the virtual race, visit www.milesformeso.org/register. Those registering on-site the day of the event should plan to arrive when registration opens at 7:30 a.m.
    Anyone who participates in the Alton race has the opportunity to wear a race bib dedicated to the memory of a Meso Warrior – someone who has passed away from mesothelioma. If anyone would like to submit the name of a loved one to be used on a bib, they are asked to submit those names by Sept. 10. Shirts may be purchased separately for $25 without participation in the race, but they must be picked up at Simmons Hanly Conroy’s Alton office. If you want your shirt mailed to you, please register for the virtual race, which includes a $5 shipping fee.  
    The top five overall men and women 5K finishers will each win cash prizes of $500, $250, $200, $100 and $50, respectively. Additionally, the first-, second- and third-place finishers in each age group will receive custom Miles for Meso medals, and the top fundraising team and individual will be recognized as well. Age groups can be found on the registration page. To commemorate its tenth anniversary, everyone who crosses the finish line will receive a finisher medal.
    Other planned activities and attractions include a kids’ game zone, photo booth, food trucks, adult beverages, and a vendor fair featuring local businesses and charities. As a special treat for children, the race will also feature pony rides this year. Other highlights include a dog adoption event hosted by Hope Rescues.
    
About Miles for Meso
    
    Miles for Meso is an initiative of the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation that was established in 2009 to raise funds and awareness for mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Miles for Meso races have been held across the country from Virginia to Florida to Washington State and beyond. Together, Miles for Meso events have raised more than $650,000 to benefit mesothelioma research and awareness.
    
SIMMONS HANLY CONROY, headquartered in Alton, Ill., is one of the country’s leading asbestos and mesothelioma law firms. With offices in New York, California, Illinois and Missouri, the firm has represented thousands of patients and families affected by mesothelioma throughout the country. The firm has pledged over $20 million to cancer research and proudly supports mesothelioma medical researchers throughout the country in their search for improved treatment options and a cure. For more information, visit https://www.simmonsfirm.com.