Beyond First Responders: The Emerging Victims of 9/11
On May 14, 2007, iHeartRadio host Shelli Sonstein welcomed Dr. Pamela King to her show, Sonstein Sessions, to discuss her battle with 9/11-related cancer. Dr. King continues to teach at the High School of Economics & Finance, at 100 Trinity Place, where she was working on September 11, 2001, mere steps from Ground Zero. The school re-opened just five months after the attacks — while the toxic pile of rubble was still smoldering — because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared the air was safe to breathe. Attorney Michael Barasch represents Dr. King and accompanied her to the show.
Dr. King, who had been a healthy, active young woman and is now a mother, received a diagnosis of breast cancer not long ago following a mammogram. Fortunately, the disease was at stage zero. But more recently, another lump was detected, so Dr. King is facing additional surgery. Because of her exposure to toxicity in lower Manhattan, Dr. King’s cancer was presumed to be caused by 9/11 toxins. Dr. King gave a horrifying account of evacuating the 750 children from the school down to Battery Park, which you can hear in its entirety here.
Mr. Barasch explained how illnesses such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, and skin cancer have proliferated among teachers and students in the area around Ground Zero. He commended the government for doing the right thing in treating and compensating physical injuries, and he urged eligible persons to contact him or the World Trade Center Health Program.
The eligibility rules for the WTC Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund require that you:
- Were south of Canal Street on September 11, 2001 and got caught up in the dust cloud, or
- Spent at least 24 hours south of Canal Street between September 11 and September 30, 2001, or
- Spent more than 80 hours south of Canal Street between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002
To receive compensation, you must have one of the 68 types of cancer or another condition recognized as 9/11-related, and you must register within two years of being certified by the WTC Health Program. If you qualify by your presence in Manhattan but are not sick, you should register with the WTC Health Program to get free annual screenings. But if you have been diagnosed by a private physician, it is imperative that you register with the WTC Health Program and the Victim Compensation Fund to preserve your rights.
If you have questions about your eligibility for 9/11 benefits, contact our experienced attorneys who have represented 9/11 survivors from the outset. Call Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson at 888.351.9421 or contact our office online.