June marks National Cancer Survivor Month, honoring the 17 million Americans who are living with, through, and beyond their illness.
Their strength and perseverance should inspire 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. And 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.
If you were there, we urge you to register with the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 VCF as soon as possible, even if you are currently healthy.
Once registered, you are covered for the rest of your life, allowing you and your family to enjoy peace of mind knowing that if – G-d forbid – anything should happen, your rights are protected.
Visit 911victims.com or call 212-385-8000 today.