BANCROFT, W.Va. -- Richard Owen Dorsey would be embarrassed seeing his picture on banners and fliers meant to raise awareness about mesothelioma, his daughter said.
"But he'd be proud of what I'm doing," said Missy Dorsey Bowles. "He knows, once I start something, you can't stop me."
Stopping isn't something Bowles has even considered. With an annual event, now in its third year, she's raised thousands of dollars for mesothelioma research -- the asbestos related cancer that took her father's life.
Bowles, 37, can recall the exact date her father started feeling sick, the day he was diagnosed and the short time later when he died at age 65. It all happened within eight months.
"When he was diagnosed, he said, 'I've never been around asbestos'," Bowles recalled, "but once we started thinking about it, he had."
Dorsey had worked for Union Carbide, FMC and the water company in the early 1970s, according to his daughter.
"He dug up and drilled on all those old water pipes that had asbestos, with no protection on," she said.
Her father's mesothelioma diagnosis came on June 13, 2008, after dozens of tests ruled out other possible problems.
"When the doctor said it was meso, all I knew about it was that there wasn't a cure and that I had seen a lot of commercials about it on TV," Bowles said.
The next month, on July 9, he passed away.
"When you have a new baby and you're fighting with losing your dad, you think, 'Oh my God, I have to do something'," said Bowles, who gave birth to her son earlier that year. "I had attended a walk for children with cancer and thought that was something I could do.
"But I couldn't just stop at the walk," she said with a laugh.
Her event, "ROD's Benefit for Meso," a 5K walk this Saturday in Eleanor, also will be open to runners this year. The event features a gospel sing, catered lunch, a silent auction and raffle prizes.