Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment Program - The Best Medical Plan No Veterans Know About

Secretary McDonald  - Please Notify Veterans There's No Waiting List at the Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment Program in Los Angeles
Zumwalt Meso
Treatment Program 
The best medical plan 
no veterans know about

San Pedro, CA -- It's upsetting to read the allegations in the news about secret wait lists, cover-ups, shabby treatment, premature deaths and a culture of apathy permeating the Department of Veterans Affairs.
What's equally upsetting is letting veterans suffer and die with either no or minimal treatment even though a qualified medical team is standing by and eager to treat them.
For months now, patients and advocates (including Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.)) have been entreating former Secretary Shinseki and Under Secretary Petzel to simply notify patients and doctorswithin the vast VA network of the world-class treatment available to veterans suffering from mesothelioma as a result of service-related asbestos exposure. Now with the recent confirmation of VA Secretary Robert McDonald, veterans are optimistic of the changes being proposed but their trust has been undeniably compromised.
About a year ago, the VA Medical Center in West Los Angeles, California approved (but did not budget) the Admiral Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment Program. The program is headed up by Dr. Robert Cameron, a well-respected thoracic surgeon who has dedicated his life to the rational treatment of pleural mesothelioma, a cancer which disproportionately impacts US service veterans.
Dr. Cameron and his crew are eager to treat veterans. Unfortunately, despite multiple requests and promises, the VA has yet to perform the simple administrative task of updating its website and other social media about the existence of the program--notices that would alert veterans suffering from mesothelioma to the high quality treatment which is available to them. Neither the VA nor West LA VA websites even mention the program.
The mesothelioma treatment team at the West LA VA Medical Center would love to have a list of veterans to treat. But there's no list, no waiting list and no effort to educate our war heroes stricken with asbestos cancer that help is available.
According to the popular literature, about 4,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Of those, roughly a third were exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy. It's not a stretch to surmise that at least 600 Navy veterans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year--a diagnosis that carries a nine month life expectancy with no treatment and 11-12 months with chemotherapy only.
Mesothelioma is a rare disease and few doctors are either interested or qualified to treat it with the full arsenal of options available. It's a beautiful thing that a world-renowned surgeon like Dr. Cameron is willing to treat veterans, but it's sad that the VA has done nothing to help educate patients about his extraordinary talents.
Secretary McDonald, the request is simple: Will you please educate veterans and all caregivers within the VA system that the Zumwalt Mesothelioma Treatment Program is alive and well and eager to provide prompt, world-class treatment to veterans suffering from mesothelioma (without placing them on a long list!).
With new reports of the VA medical system's failures capturing headlines every day, what better time to finally bring attention to an area where the VA has gotten it right!
For more information, please contact Worthington & Caron ( or 800-831-9399.

Monday, August 4, 2014

“The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Rally for Meso - The Sequel

Sunday August 3 was the 2nd ever “Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Rally to raise funds for mesothelioma research conducted by the Pacific Meso Center. The Worthington & Caron law firm was proud to once again serve as the lead sponsor for this unique event. 

The rally is inspired by the classic movie, “The Great Escape” starring the “King of Cool” and mesothelioma victim Steve McQueen. While there has never been a sequel to “The Great Escape” (and hopefully never will be!), the sequel to the first-ever “Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Rally turned out to be even better than the original!!

Heading North on PCH

The build-up to the event was somewhat auspicious, as Los Angeles experienced an extremely rare August rainstorm (any rain in LA is rare these days—but especially in August!) which lasted overnight until about 30 minutes before start-time. But the weather didn’t keep away the dedicated and enthusiastic group of motorcyclists who turned out to support a very worthy cause and have a great ride up the coast in the process.

This year’s celebrity grand marshal was actor and motorcycle enthusiast (more accurately “fanatic”) Perry King. Perry gave an inspirational send-off speech thanking motorcyclists for being the most reliable segment of the general public when it comes to turning out to support a worthy cause. He then reminded everyone about the real reason we were all there—to raise funds for much-needed research into a cure for mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer which disproportionately affects U.S. service veterans as well as thousands of Americans from all walks of life every year.

After that, it was “kickstands up!!” With a full motorcycle escort, the likes of which is usually reserved for presidents and dignitaries, the “rolling thunder” of over 150 motorcycles of all shapes and sizes (except for Perry King’s silent, but ultra-cool, Zero E-Bike) roared through the usually clogged streets of Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu without stopping for a single traffic signal!

"Twisting" Through the Canyons

Riders were treated to ocean views along Pacific Coast Highway and then rugged canyon views as the ride turned up Kanan Dume road. After negotiating the hills, “twisties” and tunnels of Kanan Dume, the ride turned down Cornell road for a final approach into historic Paramount Ranch, nestled in the hills above Malibu. It was quite a sight as all the bikes wound their way through the dirt streets of the western town movie set before it was “kickstands down” around the party pavilion at the ranch.

 At the Ranch - John Caron (center) with Perry King (to his left) and Chuck Jarvis, Jr. (to his right)

The riders were joined by a healthy throng of supporters who drove their cars to the ranch to be part of the fun. Everyone who made the trip got to enjoy an outstanding barbeque lunch, cold beverages and the sounds of classic Johnny Cash songs provided by the “Walking Phoenixes” band who were accompanied by the “Phoenix Girls” dancers. Four proud bike owners were given awards for having the coolest bikes in their categories, as voted on by the other riders.

Attendees bid liberally on the outstanding auction and raffle items which were donated to the cause by generous supporters. The prizes included two African safaris, a Keith Urban guitar, artisanal glassworks and all sorts of motorcycle gear, with all of the proceeds going to mesothelioma research.

Grand marshal Perry King brought along his friend, motorcycling legend Dave Ekins who, along with his brother Bud Ekins, was largely responsible for the growth of motorcycle racing in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. Dave shared some little known facts about the motorcycling scenes in “The Great Escape” movie. Dave’s brother Bud did the stunt riding for Steve McQueen in the movie, including the famous scene where McQueen’s character attempts to jump the barbed-wire fence at the POW camp. DYK--it was Steve McQueen himself who added this scene to the movie as a condition for doing the movie.

Click here for to view the news story from local ABC affiliate KABC.

All in all “The Greatest Escape” Motorcycle Rally was an extremely fun event which raised much needed funds and public awareness for research into a cure for mesothelioma. Thanks to Clare Cameron and all her dedicated volunteers at the Pacific Meso Center for working so hard to make it a success. Worthington & Caron were proud to be a part of this sequel to “The Greatest Escape” and look forward to “playing a role” in many more in the future. 

John and Perry; John taking Perry’s E-bike for a Silent Spin