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FDNY Remembers Firefighters Who Have Died From 9/11-Related Illnesses

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Memorial Wall honoring the 55 members who have died as a result of World Trade Center-related illnesses. It hangs in the lobby of FDNY Headquarters. (credit: NYC.gov/FDNY)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The FDNY’s death toll on 9/11 was 343, but the number from 9/11 continues to rise. There is a new memorial at department headquarters for those who have succumbed to 9/11-related illnesses.

LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reports


Since 9/11, 55 members of the fire department have died. As their names were read at department headquarters, family members placed a white rose in front of the new memorial wall.

Trish Chelsen found the name of her husband, Roy.

“It was a bit of pride because he was proud of a fireman and he loved what he did,” said Chelsen. “But it was so sad to see him there and not with me.”

Roy Chelsen was 51 when he died of multiple myeloma eight months ago.

There has been a push in Washington to add cancer to the list of diseases that qualify for assistance under the Zadroga Act, which went into effect in July.

The $4.3 billion bill allows first responders and survivors to file claims for five years and collect benefits for six years, caps lawyer fees at 10 percent, and reimburses medical claims at the rate of 140 percent of Medicaid.

But cancer is not covered under the bill.

This summer, the 9/11 health program administrator declined to add cancer to the list of covered diseases, saying there wasn’t enough evidence of a link.

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