Veteran Officers of Team Romeo Battling Cancers

A Daily Mail article tells about the 12 retired police officers and fire fighters that suited up to form Team Romeo ('Romeo' signified 'R' for 'retired') on September 11, 2001. They were desperate to help in the recovery of the 2,606 missing at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks. They worked for 9 months in an effort to locate what at first they hoped would be survivors, but they eventually were resigned to the task of looking for and finding remains:

We were so determined to save as many people as we could. I was convinced there were people alive down there. In the beginning, nobody even went home. We worked day in, day out, we slept there. By October, we started going home for a couple of hours sleep, then we would come back. It was our duty, we needed to do it. But we had no idea what it was doing to us.
— Retired Police Lieutenant Anthony 'Tony' Zeoli who formed and led Team Romeo

Tony Zeoli has written a book, Rising From The Ashes in which he shares the stories from their time working to rescue and recover at Ground Zero to the health struggles they are all now facing. 

Tony and the surviving members of Team Romeo are not only dealing with the horrendous memories from that time, but are all fighting numerous 9/11 related illnesses including cancers such as non-melanoma skin cancer and prostate cancer, lung diseases, sleep apnea, digestive diseases and PTSD. The cause of these diseases can be traced back to inhaling the toxic fumes on the pile at Ground Zero which included mercury, jet fuel, asbestos and more.

9/11 survivors include rescue workers like the members of Team Romeo, first responders, residents, students and workers who spent a significant amount of time in the toxic environment surrounding Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan in the months following September 11, 2001. The World Trade Center Health Program, 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the Zadroga Act were all set up to help victims and survivors receive compensation and health care for their illnesses associated with the 9/11 attacks. If you have a diagnosis and want to see if you’re eligible for a cancer claim, follow the link:

Photo courtesy Rising From The Ashes: The True Story of 9/11 and Recovery Team Romeo