This is a guest-post from Eric Stevenson.
With a number of recent catastrophes, the need for giving back is now more important than ever. Even with all that’s going on, there’s still plenty we can do for problems relating to old disasters. Back on September 11, 2001 many of our lives changed forever. Even with all the immediate consequences our nation dealt with in the aftermath, there were a number of people who stepped up to the plate at Ground Zero. A select group of citizens risked their lives to help save others in peril ten years ago. This included firefighters, policemen, as well as everyday citizens of this great country. Unfortunately, many of these heroes have been faced with a number of health risks directly related to Ground Zero.
Giving back to some of these heroes is an excellent way to help a number of these people who braved dangers to help citizens in peril. For many of the diseases related to the chemicals and materials spread around Ground Zero, there are a number of needs such as care giving, financial support, and other support systems.
One great organization involved with these heroes is 9/11 Health Now. This is an excellent organization that’s co-founded by actual first responders themselves, and that’s dedicated to fighting for the support that’s needed for many of these brave citizens. Their main goal is to not only fight for increased support, but also to spread the general awareness of the health problems that many of these people have been facing since 2001. This is a truly great organization, in which donations can go a long way towards helping increase support and awareness involving 9/11 first responders.
Some of the common diseases that some of these first responders to 9/11 must deal with include mesothelioma, asbestosis, different forms of cancer, as well as a number of respiratory issues. Because some of these health issues are particularly dire, care giving is often a need for many patients of these diseases. Many times a caregiver is not someone that is a professional, but a loving family or friend. With a number of bills being passed in Washington D.C. there is also a generally great outlook for supporting caregivers for veterans and hopefully soon with first responders to 9/11. Giving some time up to personally assist a hero that you may know can be a great way to give back.
The 9/11 First Responders Bill just went through in December. This is an act pushed through by President Obama and Congress that will allow support for many of those who were first on the scene or living/working around Ground Zero in 2001. Certainly this is a great first step for these heroes, but even more can be done and campaigned for to help support these citizens. Some of the major diseases involved with exposure at Ground Zero can take up to years to develop, often with decade long latency periods before diagnosis. The curious part about this new bill is that it only looks to cover medical support and monitoring through the year 2016. This is rather unfortunate because of the fact that many of these people could develop related health risks after this time is up. An extension of this timeframe could be rather beneficial primarily because of the care and support necessary for many of these related diseases. For example, mesothelioma life expectancy is extremely low, usually only a year following diagnosis, therefore any type of support for these unfortunate victims is extremely beneficial. Through petitioning and campaigning to extend this bill, the fight to give these heroes continued and needed support.
Certainly these are just a few of the ways you can get involved and help out many of the citizens who once braved danger to help others. Giving back to these heroes who may be facing dire health problems could be extremely beneficial in the long run.