As a little girl, Heather Von St. James loved wearing the jacket that her daddy wore to his construction job. It didn't matter to her if it was covered in dust, but - unfortunately - that dust became very important years later. On November 21, 2005, Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. That dust was asbestos. It has been used for thousands of years as insulation material and has caused cancer in many people in the past 50 years.
Every year 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma and given about 10 months to live; Heather was given 15 months. A mesothelioma diagnosis is commonly classified as three different types: pleural mesothelioma like Heather had occurs in the lining of the lungs, peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the heart.