Skip to main content


By E. Anders Kolb, MD | June 22, 2024

All of us were impacted by the tragedy of September 11. For those who dedicated countless hours to rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts, the effects of that devastating incident continue to be a challenge. Firefighters, police officers, emergency medics and others were exposed to harmful fumes and dust in the weeks and months following that disaster. 

From my personal experience, I witnessed the tireless dedication of first responders as I spent the 24 hours after the attacks helping set up a triage center at Stuyvesant High School. I was a fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at the time. I saw first responders who refused to leave the site as they searched for colleagues, friends and other victims. Even if anyone knew the potential harm, I'm sure they would not have been deterred. 

In the 22 years since this event, increasing attention has been given to the long-term health consequences for those who were on the scene. Recent studies have shown that first responders exposed to the air and debris during clean-up efforts are at risk of developing cancer, particularly leukemia. LLS is helping to fund critical research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City to understand this risk and how to help first responders. And now, you and our supporters have the special opportunity to hear from several guests who have played a role in making this research possible.

LLS Research Now: 9/11 and Blood Cancer Risk in First Responders will take place on Tuesday, October 10 at 1:00PM ET. I will host the event alongside Dr. Lee Greenberger who will moderate a discussion about this impactful research project and its goal of providing resources, support and treatment to these everyday heroes.

Special guest panelists include Dr. Amit Verma who is leading this research and Rick Ostroff, LLS National Board member, whose work with New York State politicians helped secure major funding for the study. We will also hear from Lucy Culp, LLS VP for State Government Affairs, and Dr. Orsi Giricz, LLS Senior Director of Research Programs, about why LLS is backing this project and possible next steps to help support our nation’s first responders.

Please join us for this special panel and share an invitation with those you know who would be interested. To register, please CLICK HERE

Firefighters holding helmets