Tuesday, September 6, 2011
“Never forget!” was the motto of the first responders who rushed to the burning World Trade Center on 9/11, but 10 years on some say they have been abandoned by their country to fight cancer and mounting medical bills.
Once hailed as heroes, thousands now say they have fallen victim to a host of ailments — from asthma to cancer — due to their exposure to the toxic debris pile left by the Twin Towers’ collapse on September 11, 2001.
Compensation funds set up by the US government do not recognize cancer as a condition caused by exposure to the World Trade Center clean-up operation, and a political battle is brewing.
“This is almost 10 years later. I mean, how do you praise guys after 9/11 and then just turn your back?” asked Jeff Stroehlein, 47, a retired New York City firefighter who is battling brain cancer after working at Ground Zero.