June is National Cancer Survivor Month.
Barasch & McGarry honors the 17 million Americans who are living with, through, and beyond their illness.
Their strength and perseverance inspires us.
This group includes people who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins on or after 9/11, dramatically increasing their risk of developing 68 different types of cancer.
In the days after 9/11, the federal government claimed that the air in Lower Manhattan was “safe.”
We now know it was not.
Anyone in the area was exposed to hundreds of harmful contaminants, including pulverized glass, benzene, lead, and asbestos, all of which are known carcinogens.
When the Financial District reopened a week after 9/11, office workers were breathing those same toxins.
Likewise, the students and teachers who came back to school in early October 2001 were breathing those same toxins, as well as the downtown residents who were already there or returned to resume their lives.
In the years since, thousands of 9/11 first responders and survivors have been diagnosed with cancer, a number that will continue to increase. In fact, more people have died of 9/11-related illnesses than on 9/11.
Thankfully, there are resources available for people with 9/11-related illnesses.
With the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), 9/11 victims have access to free nationwide health care.
Through the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), first responders, survivors, and their families are entitled to awards for pain and suffering, loss of income, and wrongful death.
But there are still tens of thousands of first responders and survivors who have not yet registered with the VCF.
We have a responsibility to inform them about their right to access health care and compensation.
If you were in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street on 9/11 or during the eight following months, you are eligible to register – even if you are currently healthy.
If you were below Houston Street or in parts of western Brooklyn and are diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness, you are eligible to enroll in the WTC Health Program.
Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 30,000 members of the 9/11 community.
Visit www.911victims.com or call 212-385-8000 today.