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9/11 Injuries

9/11 First Responder Needs Bone Marrow Transplant

February 12, 2015 | Michael Barasch

The first responders of 9/11 were undoubtedly heroes who braved the perils of that fateful day to bring victims to safety. Today, one of those heroes needs someone to save him. A 54-year-old firefighter who assisted on and in the weeks following 9/11 has developed an aggressive form of blood cancer. To have any chance of recovery, he will require a bone marrow transplant.

The form of blood cancer that the first responder suffers from manifests with multiple myeloma in which the plasma cells become cancerous and then multiply, outnumbering the healthy cells. The disease affects the bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count of those afflicted with it. It is both a painful and deadly disease.

The first responder has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy as well as 24-hour rounds of infusions. Additionally, he underwent a stem cell transplant in which doctors harvested cells from his body and injected them into his bone marrow. This treatment was successful in setting his cancer into partial remission. Despite this aggressive treatment, however, he has not been able to put his cancer into remission. At this point, the next treatment needed to have any chance of beating the cancer is a bone marrow transplant.

Bone marrow transplants are extremely serious but highly aggressive forms of treatment. Every year 20,000 Americans turn to bone marrow transplants as a last-ditch form of treatment. The first responder’s need are especially difficult to reach as he is Hispanic and the Hispanic population has a much smaller pool of donors from which to draw as ethnicity plays a large role in matching for transplants.

To learn more about your options if you were injured or suffered an illness due to exposure on or after the 9/11 attacks, speak with a knowledgeable New York City injury attorney at Barasch, McGarry Salzman & Penson.

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