Fighting for Healthcare for Those Affected by 9/11
Steve Adubato talks with John Feal, Founder, President & Chairman, Feal Good Foundation, and Richard Alles, Fmr. FDNY Deputy Chief and 9/11 First Responder about the fight to get 9/11 first responders and those who became ill after 9/11 the healthcare and assistance they need and deserve.
"I'm a resident of lower Manhattan, about a mile from Ground Zero, and I actually watched the towers collapse. You could not see. The fires were burning. It was pure chaos. It's like the gates of Hell just opened up. There was a tremendous amount of toxins in that environment. You know, one toxin over time will give you cancer. But 2,500 different chemicals mixed together, we were lab rats. And the way that these toxins act, is they don't act necessarily immediately. I had a lot of friends of mine who were getting sick, and we weren't really being taken care of. And we weren't really being taken serious. Kenny Speck, my friend, he says to me, "Hey Ray, you gotta check this guy out. John Feal." What is it that you need from us? What can we do? John Feal was introduced to us early on, and it was really one of the high points for me and my medical career. You know, a lot of people call me a first responder too, but I wind up correcting them. I responded to 9/11, but 9/17 is the day I got hurt. All the benefits that I paid into, why am I having to fight for workman's comp? Meanwhile, I'm losing everything. But the whole process started. I started helping others. And then, you know, one thing led to another. Like, well start a foundation. And I was like "What? How do you spell foundation?" You know. We were watching with horror as the Congress was about to go on a holiday break, and not deal with this Health and Compensation Act, called the Zadroga Bill. And so we reached out to John to try and get him on this, because we'd heard about his lobbying efforts. When we went down to D.C. we were just a bunch of blue-collar workers going down and guerilla lobbying. You know, this is a government-run agency, this bill. The healthcare, and the compensation. And like any government-run agency, people fall through the cracks. So those people still need our help. So much work to be done. Two guys right here doing it. John Feal, you saw him in that video, Founder, President, Chairman, FealGood Foundation, and Richard Alles, former FDNY Deputy Chief. Gentlemen, thank you. Thank you for having me. Thank you. People watch... it's... as we're doing this program at the end of 2018, we're getting further away from September 11, 2001. What do you want people to take away from that, other than being emotionally moved? That's not enough, is it? Oh. I almost cried watching that. But for the rest of us... What do I want people...? ...that's..."