NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Responders, volunteers and downtown residents met with officials on Saturday morning to learn for the first time how the James Zadroga Act will help them deal with illnesses from the toxic dust released on 9/11.

“I’ve been diagnosed with something called pulmonary hypertension,” retired NYPD Sgt. Anita Ryan said. “Right now I’m hoping that the Zadroga Act could pay for my medication, which is very expensive.”

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She, and many others, contracted an illness from dealing with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and attended the WTC Health & Education Conference to learn how the Act works to their benefit.

Sen. Robert Menendez said the ill will be cared for and the healthy will be watched closely.

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“And that monitoring is incredibly important because what we’re doing is tracking the development of diseases as a result of the toxins that were emitted that day,” he said.

It was an uphill battle passing the Zadroga act. Now the next challenge is determining who is sick from the trade center and how to treat them.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said they still have many more illnesses to learn about as time goes on.

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“The science tells us that the illnesses that we’re seeing aren’t the only ones,” he said. “We’re gonna start seeing cancers.”