Mesothelioma Guide is a useful resource for patients with mesothelioma and their loved ones. We create and provide easy-to-understand information on the mesothelioma diagnostic process, treatment options, renowned mesothelioma cancer centers, and an abundance of free resources and assistance services.

 

About Our Patient Advocates 

Mesothelioma Guide has two knowledgeable and experienced patient advocates on staff to help patients and loved ones navigate their mesothelioma journey. We understand how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis can be, and we believe you should be equipped with the information and resources to navigate your mesothelioma journey the best you possibly can. 

 

Karen Ritter, RN, Patient Advocate and Nurse Navigator

Karen Ritter, RN, is our nurse navigator. Her personal experiences with cancer led her to work directly with patients and their family members to give them the compassion and communication they need during such a difficult time. 

Karen has firsthand experience with cancer, as she herself is a survivor and her mother passed away from lung cancer in 2020. She fully understands both sides of a cancer diagnosis as well as how challenging the journey can be for patients, family members and caregivers.

With 25 years of nursing experience, Karen is more than qualified to lead mesothelioma patients and their loved ones through their diagnosis. While working in hospitals, Karen gained experience in outpatient surgery, pain management, preoperative care, postoperative care and being an operating room circulator. 

“I laugh with my patients. I cry with my patients. I want them to know I am with them through this journey.”

Much of her nursing experience translates to mesothelioma care, making her a valuable asset in a patient’s journey.  

 

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett, Veterans Patient Advocate and Director of Patient Advocacy 

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett, is our veterans patient advocate and VA-accredited claims agent. After serving in the Navy for nearly 24 years, he became the Executive Director of the Veterans Assistance Network. Since then, he has helped more than 1,000 veterans with asbestos-related diseases receive compensation benefits through various VA programs.

“I spent 24 years on active duty looking out for my shipmates in the very same way they looked out for me. Now, I consider it an honor to once again serve my fellow veterans by providing them with specialized assistance in filing for the VA benefits they deserve. I also strive to provide veterans with expert advice and information regarding their disease and provide them with resources to help increase their odds of beating it.”

Filing claims with the VA can seem complicated, but Carl’s extensive experience with VA benefits and asbestos diseases makes it much simpler. 

 

Mesothelioma Guide Patient Experiences

Mesothelioma Guide’s patient advocates have helped hundreds of mesothelioma patients understand their diagnosis, find effective treatments, and know their options. Our patient advocates understand the devastation caused by an asbestos disease, such as mesothelioma. They are compassionate, helpful, patient and understanding of the patient’s circumstances and know how to guide them through their journey.  

Karen helps guide patients through their mesothelioma journey and answers any medical-related questions they may have. Karen’s priority is connecting patients with renowned cancer centers and mesothelioma specialists to find the best treatment possible. 

Karen’s knowledge, experience and above-and-beyond efforts have left lasting impressions on the many patients she has worked with. 

Here are some of their experiences working with her. 

Teree R.: “My husband and I contacted Mesothelioma Guide for help and information regarding his mesothelioma diagnosis. Karen immediately responded and sent us valuable information. I loved having a paper copy of the MesotheliomaGuide book. The diagrams and treatment information are great for me to refer to and to help others understand this disease. 

Karen has stayed with us throughout this unexpected journey. We believed in our physicians locally and at the Cleveland Clinic who gave excellent care and compassion. We also did our own research and added complementary supplements which we strongly believe is helping. We have received blessings. My husband’s journey has been up and down, like most mesothelioma cases. But one must remain hopeful. Hope is profound certainty. We receive what we ask for and believe.”

Tina J.: “I’m a registered nurse, so when my 32-year-old nephew was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, I began combing the internet for information and the best treatment options. I saw several mesothelioma websites and hesitantly filled out a form on one of them. Almost immediately, I received a call from a law firm. 

After that, I had no intention of reaching out to any of the other mesothelioma websites. Somehow, I mistakenly reached out to Mesothelioma Guide, and thank goodness I did. When patient advocate Karen Ritter returned my call, I didn’t answer. However, when I listened to her voicemail, I recognized that this was someone who knew what she was talking about and who could be very helpful.

I called her back immediately, and within 15 minutes, she provided invaluable information about his diagnosis as well as the names and contact information of the top mesothelioma medical and surgical oncologists in the country. The contact information led us directly to the best person to speak with in order to expedite an appointment. 

After meeting with the doctors recommended by Karen, my nephew was fortunate to have so many excellent choices and was treated by one of the most experienced and respected surgeons in the country. The surgery was done quickly and was extremely effective in treating the cancer.

My nephew and his family are so grateful for Karen’s assistance in finding a doctor as well as her continued assistance in navigating his treatments and in answering the many questions we had along the way.

I hope our experience convinces others to reach out.”

Carl helps veterans better understand their mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease and guides them through the VA claims process to ensure adequate compensation. Carl focuses on verifying all required VA forms have been completed and properly submitted while connecting veterans with mesothelioma to VA hospitals for effective mesothelioma treatment.

Carl’s compassion and diligence have greatly impacted the veterans he has helped throughout the years, as well as their families. 

Here are some of the testimonials Carl has received from patients and caregivers.

Donna L.: “On July 31, 2014, our world came crashing down when my husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

I started to do some research and was given Carl Jewett’s name, who specializes in assisting veterans with VA claims. I was skeptical because I did not know how to begin to do anything with the VA. I was still so numb and needed help during this difficult time in our lives. So I decided to make the call to Carl.

Truly, he was a lifesaver. He was very sympathetic to what we were going through plus he guided us on all the forms that were needed. I can honestly say we thank our lucky stars we found this organization and hope he will ease a few more veterans through their ordeal.

He was outstanding to work with, and he even followed up with us to make sure we received our letter from the VA. Mesothelioma Guide is a great organization, and I truly hope you make that call.”

Bob K.: “My father and I would like to thank Carl for all the help that he has given us regarding my father’s VA claim due to his asbestos exposure while working in the boiler room aboard ships serving in the U.S. Navy. 

When my father was first diagnosed with asbestos disease, our first thought was filing a VA claim would be a very long, drawn-out ordeal that would take years. But, thankfully, after talking to Carl, he cleared up all of our ill thoughts about how the VA works.

Carl’s information about how to file a claim made it very easy for us. From sending us the proper forms to explaining how to write an exposure summary and what to expect from the VA during this trying time was tremendously appreciated. 

We thank you Carl and hope that other military veterans who were exposed to asbestos when they proudly served their country seek help through Mesothelioma Guide. Thank you for all your help.”

These are just a few of the lives Mesothelioma Guide has touched. Our patient advocates offer professional guidance and compassionate advice to help patients navigate their mesothelioma diagnosis. They provide patients with essential resources to give them the best chance at fighting mesothelioma. 

If you were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our patient advocates today. Karen and Carl can discuss your options with you, answer any questions about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, and connect you with the top treatment specialists in the country. Email karen@mesotheliomaguide.com or cjewett@mesotheliomaguide.com to better understand mesothelioma and how to fight it.

    Sources & Author

Image of Camryn Keeble who is Mesothelioma Guide's senior content writer

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is the senior content writer and editor for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates mesothelioma-related content for the Mesothelioma Guide website. Camryn's goal is to decipher advanced information regarding mesothelioma into informative, simplified content to educate those affected by mesothelioma. She also works diligently to raise awareness of mesothelioma and its effects on patients and their loved ones.