Skip to content

Victim Compensation FundPolice OfficersWTC Health Program

9/11 NYPD Hero Passes Away Weeks After Cancer Diagnosis

July 13, 2021 | Michael Barasch

NYPD Sergeant Cornelius J. Douglas, 56, of West Nyack, passed away on June 24 of pancreatic cancer he developed as a result of his exposure to Ground Zero toxins as a 9/11 first responder – only a few weeks after he was diagnosed.

Sergeant Douglas joined the New York City Transit Police Department in 1997, where he soon distinguished himself as a “cop’s cop,” decorated for his professionalism and commitment to public service.

He retired as Sergeant Detective Squad in the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force on May 28th, 2021.

An avid reader of comic books – particularly Batman, the guardian angel of Gotham City – Sergeant Douglas was himself considered a superhero to his colleagues and family members, who gathered for his Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet, NY, last week. 

Among the mourners was his wife of 23 years, Karen Douglas, who told the New York Daily News that her husband was “everything to everybody.”

9/11 first responders and survivors have a dramatically higher risk of developing 68 types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, as well as many respiratory illnesses.

If you were in Lower Manhattan on or after 9/11, you may be eligible to register for free health care and compensation with the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. We urge you to access what you are owed.

Many cancers and respiratory illnesses develop only years or decades after an individual’s exposure to toxins. 

Give yourself and your family the peace of mind to know that health care, compensation, and other resources will be available if, God forbid, you get sick in the future.

Call us at 212-385-8000 if you have any questions about the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, or visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required

Leave a comment

  • Share this article

  • Newsletter

    Stay updated on breaking 9/11 news
    Subscribe Now

Home Live Chat

Photo of Michael Barasch.
Online Now

Hi, we are here to help if you have questions.