Quest for quality of life
On Aug,11, four New York firefighters who had been badly affected by toxic chemicals at the World Trade Center disaster, joined me for lunch in Arrowhead.
Along with their sponsor and benefactor, Ron Pollock, it was perhaps one of the most interesting, emotional and rewarding experiences of my life.
These brave heroes had all been through the aftereffects of being exposed to the deadly toxins that were still present months after the dastardly collapse.
They had been through a detoxification program and from a severe state of depression and lack of physical energy and in some cases, the death of friends and co-workers, they returned to a normal life with great hopes for the future.
The following evening, Pollock took over the Vilar Center for the opening performance of “The Guys,” an off-Broadway stage play about one of the Sept. 11 firefighters. It was a successful fund raiser and made it possible for nine firefighters to take treatment and obtain a quality of life again.
The treatment has proved to bring remarkable results.
One of the men who was at the luncheon was Jim Woodworth, director of operations for New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project. Knowing I would soon be in New York, he invited my wife, Bobba, and me to lunch and to give us a tour of the detoxification center located less than two blocks from Ground Zero.
The tour took place last week. It was a most revealing experience. The facilities can handle up to 70 cases a day. A session included daily doses of immediate-release niacin, which increases circulation and assists the body in breaking down fat tissue. It also includes moderate aerobic exercise, intermittent sauna to force sweating, ingestion of cold-pressed oils which prevent mobilized toxins from being reabsorbed by the intestines and a vitamin and mineral supplementation.
The treatments are daily and last about three hours. It should be continued for two to four weeks, on average. During the tour, we had the opportunity to meet and talk to several affected workers. A few of their remarks were so reassuring:
– “Before the program I was feeling weak, tired and depressed. I now feel calmer, more relaxed and charged up.” – T.B.
– “After 30 days I gained most of my life back. I am off medications, I am a nice person again, my family likes me for the first time in quite a while and I can breathe normally.” – G.E.
– “Their achievement gave me a boost toward mental clarity. I plan on striving to a higher level of happiness than I have been able to attain for years.” – P.M.
– “Ninety five percent of the post 9/11 problems I was having with memory and train of thought have disappeared.” – T.C.
– “This is such a great program we have to keep it going for all the other rescue workers.” – J.C.
It was quite a privilege to see first hand what remarkable improvement is being made in so many lives. Thousands need help.
The Detoxification Project also needs help. The government takes time, but hundreds need help right now. Approximately $90 million has been given to survey the health effects of the toxin, but no money has been given to treat the many who are in desperate need.
It is a most worthy cause that can affect literally millions of people and private support is the only source of help. The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project is a nonprofit organization and tax deductible.
Now is the time to step in.
Send donations to: New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, 139 Fulton Street, Suite 515, New York, NY 10038.
Editor’s note: Dick Hauserman, one of the founding fathers of Vail Mountain, is a regular correspondent who shares his views of the valley and the world with the Vail Daily and its readers.
Sept. 18, 2003
Dear Mr. Hauserman,
My name is Phil Spina and I just completed the Hubbard Detox Program. I told Jim Woodworth that I wanted to thank whoever helped make it possible for me to receive my program, and he told me that you, Ron Pollack, and the people of Vail made it happen for me. I am honored that you cared enough to help me get my health back.
Before I started my treatment, I wasn’t able to sleep more than 4 1/2 hours a night and not more than two hours and a time. I am 39-years-old and before treatment, I felt like I was 60. I had aches and pains in my joints and muscles and I had the World Trade Center cough along with a constantly sore throat. My mental symptoms were many – I couldn’t concentrate, my memory was shot and I was moody, angry, short tempered and completely unmotivated.
I felt like a terrible husband and father because I couldn’t do the things with my family that I did prior to 9/11. I just felt run down and angry. I thought that there was no way I could work another 16 years as a firefighter feeling the way I was feeling.
Now for the good news, I have regained an energy level that I haven’t had for years! My memory is back and I sleep seven to nine hours every night without waking every two hours. I am pain free and have zero cough or sore throat!!! I am no longer angry, depressed or short tempered. My marriage has improved dramatically because I don’t fly off the handle over stupid stuff anymore!
For me, the program was a HUGE success! I can’t thank you, Ron, the Vail Valley, and the staff at the clinic enough for this incredible gift – MY HEALTH!!! If I can do anything to repay you, please let me know!
FDNY, “Ladder 149”
Dear Mr. Hauserman,
I understand that you and Mr. Ron Pollack along with the residents of the Vail Valley raised the funds that paid for my detoxification treatment. All of your efforts on behalf of the rescue workers of 9/11 is greatly appreciated!
I have been a member of FDNY for 14 years. I spent over three months working at the site. There was an incredible amount of toxins present in the smoke and dust that we were exposed to 10 to12 hours or more each day.
I started showing symptoms of toxic exposure 12 months after 9/11. The accumulation of chemicals from 9/11 and the previous 13 years of fighting fires had started taking a heavy toll on my overall physical and mental health.
My symptoms included: body aches and pains, severe fatigue, lack of coordination, headaches, difficulty sleeping, constant sore throat, lack of endurance, irritability, lack of concentration, anxiety, mood swings, skin problems and an overall felling of being in a fog.
I finished the treatment in just under three weeks and I can tell you that I am 100 percent symptom free. I haven’t felt this good in over 15 years when I was 27 years old. I can run for 30 minutes without any major effort or breathing difficulties.
Recently, between working two 15-hour night shifts at the firehouse and coming to the clinic for three hours of treatment, I then went and played ice hockey for two hours. It feels great to have this much energy!
Even my wife notices that I look a lot better and am much more relaxed!
I think that every single person who worked at the site should have the opportunity to do this treatment. I want everyone who helped me undergo this treatment to know what a significant difference this has made in my life physically and mentally. It is people like you, who through your kindness and generosity have made such a positive impact on those that you have helped. Your help is very much needed, wanted and appreciated!
God Bless All of You,
Lt. John Murray
FDNY, Division Three
“After 30 days I gained most of my life back. I am off medications, I am a nice person again, my family likes me for the first time in quite a while and I can breathe normally.”
– N.Y. firefighter