St. Louis, MO – The Illinois-based Simmons firm will host its second annual “Miles for Meso” 5K run/walk this Saturday, October 11th, in University City. The firm recently hosted the first run on Saturday, September 26th in East Alton, Ill., which drew in nearly 500 participants. The Simmons Firm is well-known throughout the United States for its commitment to representing mesothelioma and asbestos-cancer patients in the courtroom. The fun run is one of the creative ways in which the firm strives to not only raise awareness of the deadly disease, but to raise funds for research as well. More than $30,000 was raised at the September event, and the firm hopes to exceed that amount this Saturday. “We’re excited that so many people, with so many options to run or walk in events for other causes, supported Miles for Meso,” Chairman and CEO John Simmons told reporters. All money raised will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation; the foundation supports mesothelioma research, and aids mesothelioma victims with funds for travel and treatment for the cancer. Mesothelioma victim Julie Gundlach has partnered with the Simmons firm to coordinate and lead the event this weekend. Gundlach, who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in 2006, said, “”It’s my hope that, through events like this, people come to start to understand that this is a preventable disease, and that we need the help of everyone to educate and raise money for research.” Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer, is caused by exposure to asbestos. The material was heavily used in industries such as shipping and ship building, manufacturing and construction. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they become embedded in the mesothelium, a membrane lining the lungs and vital organs. The fibers can then cause the cells to become malignant, leading to a mesothelioma tumor.