On the 11-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, first responders and those who lived near Ground Zero will finally receive coverage for cancer. The announcement comes from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which recognized there was a link between living and working near the World Trade Center site and the development of certain kinds of cancer, FoxNews.com reports.
The move will be hailed a victory by many advocates for first responders who had struggled for years to get coverage for illnesses sustained as a result of the work they did in the aftermath of the attacks. The Zadroga Bill created a $2.8 billion fund several years ago, but until recently cancer was not among the illnesses covered.
"It’s a bittersweet thing," John Walcott, an NYPD detective who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003, told the New York Post. "It took 11 years to do what should have been done a long time ago."
Though there are no hard statistics, experts estimate that around 400 people have died from cancer since 9/11, according to the Post. Currently, about 20,000 people receive medical treatment as a result of the legislation.