As Americans prepare for the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, nearly 10,000 first responders and New York City residents have reported 9/11-related cancers.
In early August the New York Post reported on newly released numbers of reported 9/11 related illnesses, including 9,795 total case of 9/11-related cancer. The numbers were released by the federally funded World Trade Center Health Program.
According to the program there have been more than 400 documented cases of death from 9/11-related cancers. However, unfortunately, the plight of the men and women who rushed into “Ground Zero” on September 11, 2001 and the following months is often forgotten in the public conversation. Seventeen years after the attacks the first responders are still fighting for their lives.
On Thursday the Los Angeles Times reported 15 FBI agents have died from cancers linked to exposure to various toxins during investigation and cleanup of the wreckage. The Times notes that three FBI agents have died since March. In addition, News 12 in Westchester reports that Kathleen O’Connor, a 20-year veteran with the New Rochelle Police Department, recently died from a 9/11-related illness.
WECT News reports that retired NYPD detective Chuck McLiverty lives with skins allergies and a crushed hand due to his role as a first responder. The former detective spent nearly every day for six months working 12-hour shifts, often without breathing protection.
“We may make light of it, joke about it, but you’re always just wondering, am I next? Or is the guy or girl sitting next to, are they a walking time bomb that’s going to explode? You get tired of going to funerals,” McLiverty told WECT.
“All you could see for miles and miles was big plumes of black, billowing smoke. All you could see was stuff falling down, out of the air. The air was so thick, it’s like you could wave your hand, like being in a snow storm.”
The New York Daily News also recently announced the death of retired firefighter Michael McDonald who died from lung and brain cancer from 9/11 cleanup efforts.