Mesothelioma: Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign – Guest Blog

In relation to my last ‘guest blog’ I was contacted by Susan Vento, the widow of Bruce Vento, Asbestos & Mesothelioma Victim and Former U.S. House Representative, St. Paul, Minnesota.

She asked if I could spread the word regarding the work of the ACVRC (the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign) and also asks if you would kindly sign the petition on their website:

Please also take a look at the short videos highlighting this devastating illness.

Join us in fighting all legislation that restricts the rights of asbestos cancer victims.

An outline of the campaign: ‘to expose the truth about asbestos and to oppose legislation to roll back asbestos victims’ rights. Several years ago, asbestos trust funds were established by the bankruptcy courts to provide compensation to asbestos victims for asbestos-related illness and death, and at the same time, enable companies to continue their business operations.

Recently, we have seen campaigns sponsored by the U.S. Chamber in various states and in Congress that will make it more difficult for asbestos victims and their families to get compensation. New, extensive disclosures of victims’ personal information would be required, resulting in justice delayed or denied, while companies would have no similar requirements. We can’t allow that to happen. Our goal is to inform policymakers and the public that companies were aware of asbestos dangers even as they harmed millions of workers and consumers across the country.

The campaign will show why the FACT Act is the opposite of what it is called, why victims’ rights must be protected, and why this effort to roll back victims’ rights must be defeated. If the Congress is going to act, it should be considering how to stop the use of asbestos and conduct more research for effective medical treatments, not how to eliminate the rights of victims’.

SUSAN VENTO’S Story & Opposition to the FACT Act

Dear Chairman Bachus and Ranking Member Cohen:

My name is Susan Vento, and I’m writing to express my strong opposition to H.R. 982 called the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT Act). My husband was the late Congressman Bruce F. Vento who served for more than 24 years in the House of Representatives representing Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District. He died from mesothelioma in 2000 within eight months of being diagnosed.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Bruce was exposed through his work as a laborer years before we met or became involved in public life. He told his constituency about his diagnosis in early February 2000 when he announced why he would not run for re-election. On February 14, he had his lung surgically removed and then began an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy and radiation at the Mayo Clinic.

It was not enough. My husband died three days after his 60th birthday in October. With his death, our country lost a dedicated and humble public servant years before his time. I lost so much more.

Bruce dedicated himself as a tireless and effective advocate for the environment, for working people and for the disadvantaged. During his time in Congress, he was well respected by members of all parties. He served as chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands and also served on the House Banking Committee.

The FACT Act directly contracts the decades of work my husband invested in helping those who could not help themselves. If this bill passed, it would be a serious step back for the important work he achieved as your colleague. As the FACT Act is currently written, it is one-sided, unfair and unnecessary. It touts “transparency” yet will delay and in some cases deny justice to people suffering from debilitating asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.

I thank you for your consideration and hope you will stand with me in support of Bruce’s memory and in opposition of this bill.


Susan Vento


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Born in Liverpool at the end of WW2, but raised in Skelmersdale. I first studied art in Southport from 1960-63 and worked in graphic design till I married. In December 1969 I moved to Zambia with my husband and two young children. There I taught art in the local girls school, illustrated for the National Correspondence College and did all sorts of other artwork, paid and unpaid. In 1978 I divorced and remarried in the summer of 1980. In 1985 I became ill and the following year cancer was diagnosed. There was no treatment available in Zambia and so I had to go to the UK. After recovering from a radium needle implant I went back to Zambia, but 18 months later the cancer recurred and it was off to the UK again for radical surgery. This time I realised I must stay in the UK where treatment was available, so I never returned to Zambia nor my husband. A few months later I applied for a degree course, but two years later the disease metastasised and I spent most of my final year in and out of hospital. It’s been a long hard road, but I’m still plodding on and it is now 24 years since my last cancer treatment. Because of my experience of cancer and surviving against the odds, I try and help others cope with their devastating diagnosis and prognosis.

5 thoughts on “Mesothelioma: Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign – Guest Blog”

  1. Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the stage of the cancer. There is no known cure for the disease, and treatments like surgery or chemotherapy are only performed during the early stages of the illness.


    1. I heard there was a chemotherapy specifically engineered for asbestos cancer, some 47 year got treated after being critically diagnosed. maybe you should look into that.


  2. Even more important that the suffers’ rights aren’t overlooked, as I’m sure the two guest bloggers (above) would agree. I’m afraid I knew nothing about mesothelioma until Cameron and Susan contacted me and asked if they could share their story on my blog.


  3. An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure has occurred. Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are available and often times a better prognosis is given. Get a Free Law Firm to Handle Your Mesothelioma Cases Here!


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