A Connecticut mother who lost her son during the September 11th attacks is still working to support the needs of other victims. Those needs include health care but the funding to continue providing screenings and treatment could be cut by the Trump administration.
Mary Fetchet lost her son Brad 17 years ago.The 24 year old was one of thousands of victims who died in the World Trade Center towers.
That same year, Fetchet, who lives in New Canaan, founded Voices of September 11th, an organization that supports and provides resources for the on-going needs of survivors, first responders, and family of victims.
"He and the others have given me the strength to carry on," Fetchet told NPR. "And I think once you start that work, it would’ve been harder for me to look the other way and think somebody else is going to take care of this."
Fetchet’s organization connects those in need with health care through the federally funded World Trade Center Health Program.
That program was created through the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, passed in 2010. The act is named for a New York City police officer who died of a respiratory illness linked to his service at Ground Zero.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal told Congress that the Trump administration is not doing enough to keep programs funded through the Zadroga Act running.
"I continue to be disappointed the administration’s failure to keep faith with the World Trade Center Health Program that provides critical funding for the first responders who answered the call on 9/11," Blumenthal said during a press conference in Hartford Tuesday. "They were given no protective gear, no warning about the carniogens and other toxic chemicals. And the World Trade Center Health Program continues to be underfunded by the administration."
Over 500 Connecticut first responders went to Ground Zero on 9/11. Advocates say President Donald Trump's 2019 proposed federal budget could disrupt treatment for more than 80,000 people nationwide who receive care through the program.