343 firefighters and paramedics were among the 2,753 people who died in the fires and in the collapse of the two buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. More than 150 have died since, according to Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was established in 2011 to help first responders whose illnesses and deaths were connected to their exposure to toxic substances they encountered at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa. 

A day after Jon Stewart blasted Congress for their failure to support 9/11 first responders, the full House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to pass a bill extending the 9/11 compensation fund. The Never Forget the Heroes Act will extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund through 2090. The fund was first created in 2001 to support those who were injured or killed in the terrorist attack or while removing debris.

Mike Bishop, retired FDNY lieutenant and volunteer worker at Ground Zero. He became a NYC firefighter in 1979, following in his father’s footsteps. “Just weeks ago, my health was never in question. Now I find (after an MRI) that I most likely have prostate cancer which is on the list of cancers covered by the World Trade compensation fund,” says Mike.

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