WEST MILFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey man who spent three weeks looking for survivors in the days after the 9/11 attacks is using billboards in a push to have his kidney disease added to the list of covered conditions by a fund to help Ground Zero workers with health problems.

Mike Megna has a rare kidney disease he believes was caused by dust from the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center towers.

mike megna first responder

The 44-year-old West Milford resident has rented two billboards in New Jersey near New York City that plead, “Add Kidney Disease for 9/11 Rescue Workers!” The signs include Megna’s name and picture.

“In 2007, I started urinating blood. It was determined I had a kidney disease. What’s happening to my body is my bone marrow is producing some sort of carcinogen. My kidneys are at 45 percent and failing,” he said in a video posted to his website.

He said he has been waiting eight years for his disease to be certified.

“How much sicker do I have to get?” he asked.

Megna told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini he owes years of lost income and could lose his West Milford home. 

“I owe $120,000, $130… I don’t even know any more but it’s up there,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which administers the fund, says there’s not enough evidence yet to connect the condition to Ground Zero.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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