Stuyvesant High School Grads Who Fell Ill After 9/11 Urge Former Classmates to Get Screened - NBC New York

Stuyvesant High School Grads Who Fell Ill After 9/11 Urge Former Classmates to Get Screened

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Grads at School Near Ground Zero Have Health Problems

    Two forums inside Stuyvesant High School Thursday night will encourage former students and staffers to get free screening to see if they're eligible for the Zadroga Act. Andrew Siff reports.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018)

    What to Know

    • There will be a town hall at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday for people to learn more about the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund

    • People who lived or worked near Ground Zero can for health care or compensation from the fund.

    • More than 5,000 people have been diagnosed with cancers or other diseases thought to be linked to the attacks.

    Lila Nordstrom was a happy, healthy senior at Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan in 2001, even after the 9/11 attacks that filled the school's Battery Park neighborhood with dust and debris. 

    But after suffering from chronic bronchitis for years, Nordstrom on Thursday stood with some of her classmates who found out years later they also got stick, likely from the air down there. 

    "I just remember the air was so thick, it was almost suffocating," said classmate Tal Berry, as he stood with health advocates in front of the school, just blocks from the twin towers collapsed. 

    Nordstrom recalled, "We were given so many assurances the air was safe to breathe when we came down here." 

    Students Say Sept. 11 Caused Cancer

    [NY] Students Say Sept. 11 Caused Cancer
    More than 5,000 cancer diagnoses have been linked to the toxic debris left behind after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack -- and at least a dozen former students at lower Manhattan high schools say they are among those affected. Michael George reports.
    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017)

    Shoshana Dornhelm was just a sophomore at the time. She recently finished six rounds of chemo for Hodgkin's lymphoma. 

    Now, she said, "I'm happy and healthy and incredibly grateful" -- grateful that the people who went to the elite New York City high school may be eligible for the same free health care and compensation that goes to first responders under the Zadroga Act. The act is named for the NYPD officer who died from crippling respiratory failure after working at ground zero.

    Two forums inside Stuyvesant High School Thursday night will encourage former students and staffers to get free screening to see if they're eligible for the Zadroga Act. They know there are no guarantees. 

    "They'll ask you a bunch of questions," said Berry. "If you don't qualify, you don't qualify."

    Attorney Michael Barash said the students deserve the same protection as the 2,500 first responders at ground zero who now have certified cancers. 

    "It's one thing for firefighters and cops to get sick. They sign up for dangerous jobs. But children?" he said. 

    Willimantic Fire Dept.

    "This is something we are gonna have to continue to contend with, especially my age group," said Nordstrom, who now lives in Los Angeles. "Our whole lives, we are gonna have to deal with this." 

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