(WBUR) John Feal was a 9/11 first responder. His organization, the FealGood Foundation, advocates for first responders who suffer chronic illnesses from their experience. (Feal Good Foundation)
Thirteen years after the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, thousands of first responders continue to struggle with health problems, some which are just being diagnosed.
Respiratory illnesses like asthma and sinusitis are common among those who participated in the World Trade Center recovery efforts. And studies show that the incidence of cancers for 9/11 first responders are 15 percent higher than the general population. Thyroid cancer was 239 percent higher.
This year’s anniversary of 9/11 comes at a time of heightened violence in the Middle East alongside the ever-growing threat of a new terrorist regime. While our thoughts are with those fighting abroad, they are also with our first responders and their families who are still suffering from the attacks thirteen years later.
Over decades of representing our police officers and fire fighters who have been injured while on duty protecting us, we have seen how injuries that are sustained in an instant can last a lifetime.
Please take a moment with us this 9/11 to recall the efforts of all the first responders to this terrorist attack and consider doing what you can to help those of them still suffering the consequences of their heroism.