One of New York City’s finest and resident of North Babylon, Scott Stelmok, has succumbed to a multitude of 9/11 related cancers at the young age of 45. Stelmok was a member of the New York City Police Department for 20 years and was a first responder after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As a member of the 108th Precinct in Queens he was called to respond on 9/11, rushing to the scene to search for emergency vehicles that had vanished under the debris and rubble. What he didn’t know, as so many others were unaware of that day, was that by doing his job, he would be afflicted with several different cancers almost 7 years later.
According to a recent Newsday report, Stelmok passed away on December 29, 2014, losing his five-year battle with cancer; an unfortunate common deadly ailment that has plagued many first responders who were exposed to the toxins and debris that permeated the air. Cancer truly was his greatest challenge. He battled colon cancer, liver cancer and brain cancer. A little more than a year ago, Stelmok was diagnosed with lung cancer for the second time. It was determined by doctors that the contaminants at Ground Zero were the cause of all his cancer diagnoses. Even during his battle with his 9/11 related cancers over the years, he still remained heroically on the force until 2013.
Over 2,500 rescue and recovery workers have been diagnosed with cancer due to the exposure from World Trade Center toxins and debris and the number continues to rise. If you were a first responder, area worker or survivor, you may be entitled to free health care under the World Trade Center Health Program. The World Trade Center Health Program provides free monitoring and health care to rescue and recovery workers as well as survivors who were exposed to the toxic dust from Ground Zero. Even if you have not been diagnosed with a 9/11 related cancer or any other 9/11 related illness, it is important to also register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to preserve your right to file a future claim should you be diagnosed with a WTC illness.
Should you have any questions about 9/11 cancers and whether you are eligible to apply to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please feel free to call, click the chat button or contact us at the top of this page.
Angela Luongo, a Paralegal with Turley, Hansen & Partners contributed to the writing of this post.