Wednesday, November 03, 2010

911 hero won't get help from the gov--even though she has had life threatening illnesses

Suzanne Lester is a constituent of mine. She resides in the village of Ardsley. On 911 she witnessed the destruction of the 911 tower. She then volunteered to help the survivors. I maintain weekly problem solver hours at area supermarkets and recall having periodic conversations with her months after this terrible tragedy. She told me of her story. Over the years I have talked to her at the supermarket --there have been times she could barely walk or talk. She has had life threatening illnesses, due to 911.
I have been shocked and dismayed at the treatment she is getting. She has been denied financial help others are getting. We've written letters to lawmakers at all levels of government. She was just denied help from the Crime Victims Board. -----Original Message-----
From: josuzanne
To: feiner98
Sent: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 3:49 pm
Subject: Re: The blurb you requested

To the Honorable Paul Feiner,


As you know, on September 11, 2001, I was caught in the cloud of debris when the first tower fell at GROUND ZERO. Next thing I knew, I was found on 19th Street, injured and covered in debris while sitting inside my car, not knowing how I got there. Kind New Yorkers stopped traffic and helped me get to a safe location and sat with me for well over an hour until I was somewhat functional. I had a cut on my forehead but had no idea how I had gotten it or how I had gotten to 19th Street. The last thing I remembered were people running up Greenwich Street away from the towers as the cloud engulfed me.

At 4:30 PM, just as I was arriving home in Ardsley, I received a call from the Vice President of the organization I worked for. He asked me to come back down to Ground Zero since I was, in his words, "The best crisis counselor they had". I said I would come back down when I stopped shaking and would try to take a nap first. I did just that. The rest is history. I've been sick with various illnesses from simple to severe and life threatening and not just one. The last one was an Auto-Immune Disease supposedly brought on by toxic exposure.

For the last nine years, exercising extreme patience and being too ill to fight, I have been insulted by our government time and time again. First, Mr. Feinberg denied my appeal until Hillary Clinton intervened on my behalf and I was awarded $25,000.00 for the GERD and ASTHMA that resulted from my helping out at GROUND ZERO. This was the same fund that awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to law firms who lost xerox machines.

Then, supposedly because I continued to work up until 2003, when I finally applied for funding from the NY State Crime Victims Board, I was denied on one technicality after another. During my final appeals hearing, I was told that it would finally be okayed. BUT ALAS, Governor Patterson disbanded the BOARD that was about to approve my award(a pittance of the expenditure of $168,000.00 on alternative health treatments to keep me alive and walking), and when I contacted the State Office and spoke to the Legal Counsel, Mr. Watson, he told me I would not have to reapply. The APPEALS HEARING WOULD STAND. I was glad to hear it since I had supplied The Board through Ms. Frances Atkens, SPECIALIST II to the COMMISSIONER, The Honorable Mr. Davies, with an additional 600 PAGES OF SUBSTANTIATED DOCUMENTATION for the appeals hearing made possible by your intervention, along with the intervention of Senator Gillibrands office, as well as Senator Schumer's office.

Contrary to the word of Mr. Watson, I HAVE JUST BEEN DENIED BY THE newly named NY State Crime Victims Department! Another slap in the face.

And because I had received $25,000 from Mr. Feinberg, I've been told that Judge Hellerstein has excluded me from the benefits of the WORBY GRUNER CLASS ACTION SUIT, which I personally do not believe and will be following up with a letter to Judge Hellerstein myself.

I am tired and still sick. You know that I am still recovering from the Liver Disease, the Asthma, and most recently the paralysis CDIP, chronic demyelinating inflammatory polyneuropathy; a rare combination of both the symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy and Multiple Sclerosis, simultaneously. You know how hard I work daily to keep myself walking and living and have very little time left for these fruitless pursuits to gain what should not have taken this much effort. After all, when I was asked to volunteer, no one had to ask twice.

I would be happy to speak at the Town Hall Meeting next Wednesday night. I appreciate you including me. Thank you. I am truly honored.

Once again, I appreciate whatever you can do to help. To say that I am becoming increasingly hopeless in this pursuit, is an understatement. Your appreciation of my efforts then and now, is a great motivator for me to continue striving in these pursuits. I will also forward this short anecdotal to both Senator Gillibrand's office and Senator Schumer's office. I hope this will be the last go round in what seems to be an endless task of futility.

Very truly yours,

Suzanne Lester
Your constituent


Fed Up With Feiner said...

This is truly sad but the first thing that caught my attention was that this person was asked to return to area by her employer. I read through all the agencies she had to go through but did not see anything related to workman's comp or SS disability. I would think that either or both would be involved since she was asked to return by her employer. Shame on all the others who have tried to pass the buck.