Today’s editorial, “9/11 cancer link can’t be ignored,” discusses the evidence of a cancer-ground zero link that’s all around us in the Lower Hudson Valley — the many first responders who have developed various types of cancer after their work in rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site. The science, though, hasn’t caught up.
We cite the story of Chris McMurry of the NYPD, an Orangeburg father of two who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2003. He died in 2008. His widow, Susie McMurry, talked about a just-released National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health report that declined, for now, to link cancers to 9/11 exposure. That means thousands are excluded from compensation and treatment under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Susie McMurry said she was saddened that “the federal government is not supporting” those families. Her heart goes out to families struggling through the emotional, and monetary, costs of dealing with such a devastating illness. “I stood in CVS more than once and cried because our insurance didn’t cover the medication he needed just to stay alive,” she said last night.
She said she hadn’t considered any claim under Zadroga, saying her days are busy trying to raise her two sons, and she doesn’t have time “making more claims.” She said last night after dinnertime, “I’ve got my hands full.”
Her husband died three years ago this coming Monday.
JOURNAL NEWS FILE PHOTO: Susie McMurry, with with her sons Willy, 10, and Fred, 12, right, at their Orangeburg home May 10. McMurry’s late husband, Chris, a member of the NYPD, died of a 9/11-related illness in 2008.