Cancer follows a Cape Coral man 18-years after his 9/11 heroism

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They ran into two giant burning, crumbling buildings. A sight nobody will ever forget. Now, a Cape Coral man who saved lives on Sept. 11, wonders what took congress so long to understand.

Like so many of us, Brian Sheehan remembers exactly where he was on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I was staring over at the trade center when the first plane hit,” Sheehan said. “I was assigned to bring what we called an RMP, which is a police car down to the site.”

He called it mayhem. A day he would never forget. Eighteen years later, Sheehan is retired from the New York Police Dept. and living in Cape Coral. However, medical complications from 9/11 have followed him.

“Unfortunately, I ended up with a cancer spot that they removed,” Sheehan said. “Luckily, they caught it early. A lot of the trade center cancers are starting as skin cancer.”

On Tuesday, with people like Sheehan in mind, the U.S. Senate gave final legislative approval to a bill making sure the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund does not go away.

The 97-to-2 vote from the U.S. Senate sends the bill to President Donald Trump’s office. More than $5 billion in benefits have been awarded out of the victims’ fund.

The bill has most recently been in the public spotlight thanks to the comedian Jon Stewart. While Sheehan said he is happy it has finally passed, it is not a time for celebration.

“This is something that’s there for families who are in need, first responders who are in need, families of first responders who have passed away,” Sheehan said. “Now, they don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from.”

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