Sept. 11 rescuers need help with health issues

With the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11 upon us, it is vital that Americans remember those who lost their lives that tragic day. It is equally important, however, to remember the heroes who survived the attack on the World Trade Center, only to suffer in the following years.

Vito Valenti, a 42- year-old father of two who lives in New York, was near the World Trade Center at the time of the attack. Valenti didn’t hesitate to rush to ground zero in an effort to aid his fellow Americans.

His selflessness and courage, however, would come back to haunt him. His health was soon on the decline, and Vito became the victim of post-traumatic stress disorder and pulmonary fibrosis.

Vito needs a double lung transplant to survive; however, he currently isn’t on the list to receive one. Today, Vito is involved with the Fealgood Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed by advocate John Feal. The organization aims to spread awareness about the health effects of those at ground zero, and advocate the cause of the ill.

Even while he is ill, Vito continues the fight to help others.

Vito Valenti isn’t the only rescuer suffering for his bravery, and he isn’t the only person fighting for others.

The World Trade Center claimed thousands of innocent lives when both towers collapsed on Sept. 11, as Americans, we should not allow for the towers to claim any more victims so long after the fact.

More people need to start focusing on helping the heroes of Sept. 11 who are currently facing devastating health issues.

Dennis Mikolay