One of the most iconic images to emerge from the terrorist attacks on 9/11 featured a clearly distraught woman who was covered in dust in the moments after she emerged from the World Trade Center. Known as the “Dust Lady,” she became emblematic of the suffering and depth of despair experienced by those victimized on 9/11.
The years since 9/11 have been difficult ones for the Dust Lady, as she dealt with depression for nearly a decade following the attacks. This depression led her to abuse drugs and alcohol for which she eventually checked herself into rehab in 2011. While she has been clean for a number of years and her life has appeared to be on the upswing, she has recently been dealt a new blow. In August 2014, her doctor diagnosed her with stomach cancer.
Though it is unclear whether or not the cancer was a result of her exposure to dangerous toxins and dust on 9/11, she would not be the first person to experience such a response. In the years following 9/11, thousands have sought treatment for cancer and other health ailments that health officials have connected with the individuals’ exposure to environmental toxins on and after September 11. Many of these victims have filed claims with the Victim Compensation Fund and have been able to pay for their treatment with their awards.
The Dust Lady has not been so fortunate. She is currently dealing with nearly $200,000 in medical bills and has only completed the first phase of her cancer treatment. She still will undergo radiation and additional chemotherapy, which will undoubtedly cost tens of thousands more.
If you are suffering from a chronic disease or condition you believe is connected to your exposure on and after 9/11, you may be able to receive compensation. For more information, contact the experienced 9/11 injury attorneys at Barasch, McGarry Salzman & Penson in New York.