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WTC Health Program Success Story: Kidney Cancer Treatment

The James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 created the World Trade Center Health Program, charged with monitoring and treating 9/11 responders who develop illnesses related to toxic exposure during rescue and recovery work. As attorneys who represent 9/11 responders, we urge anyone who was exposed to toxins at Ground Zero to inquire about their eligibility for the program. There is a great advantage to consulting health professionals who have experience with the specific symptomatology of post-9/11 illnesses.

A recent article from the news website NY1 tells of one dramatic success story for the WTC Health Program. Narcotics detective Thomas Rachko made a series of bad decisions towards the end of his 20 year career that landed him in prison for reselling drugs he’d stolen. While incarcerated, he started experiencing symptoms common to 9/11 responders: runny nose, trouble breathing and stomach problems. Yet, he did not attribute these ailments with the five months he’d spent combing through debris at Ground Zero. But, in 2012, a fellow retired officer encouraged Rachko to check out the WTC Health Program.

By that time, August of 2012, Rachko had pain in his left flank. CAT scans revealed kidney cancer. In January of 2013, Rachko had surgery to remove the tumor and part of his left kidney. The minimally invasive procedure was a new technique designed to preserve as much of the healthy kidney tissue as possible. The surgeon, Dr. Ketan Badani, Mount Sinai Comprehensive Kidney Cancer Program Director, targeted the artery that was feeding the tumor and stopped the blood flow to that area. After the tumor was removed, the overall kidney function did not diminish.

Dr. Bedani credits early detection through the WTC Health Program for Rachko’s success. As attorneys serving 9/11 responders, we encourage all eligible parties to take advantage of the screening and treatment available. If you have questions about your eligibility, call Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson today at 888.351.9421 or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation.

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