Gene O’Neill is a hero to many and needs our help! Gene was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma in Oct 2019. This type of cancer has been linked to first responders at ground zero, which he was one of for a month after the towers fell. At diagnosis the cancer had already spread outside. Due to his renal artery and vein being invaded with the cancer our local hospital did not have the capacity to operate and sent him on to a specialist at Mayo Clinic in Fl. At this time Gene was already involved with the World Trade Center insurance and surveillance program so he started the process of getting his condition certified and covered.
On Nov 30th 2019, surgery took place to remove his entire kidney and what was to be a 3 day stay turned into a 10 day stay due to an accidental laceration of his pancreas during surgery. Gene was left unable to eat or drink liquids for 3 weeks while his pancreas was healing with the addition of many drains placed and lines for additional nutrition.
In January 2020 his cancer was certified by the WTC insurance but is unwilling to pay ANYTHING before January and he was told he should have waited for approval before any procedures. This would have left him for over 2 months with No treatment and a tumor engulfing his kidney.
His primary insurance covered most of his stay from Nov 2019, but not all.
Fast forward to July of 2020. A tumor was found in his lung. Surgery and another overnight stay with Mayo Clinic confirmed what we thought, Mets from the initial kidney cancer. Since his follow up in March Gene has incurred thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills from the WTC insurance/ surveillance program. At this time none of his expenses are being covered even with it being Mets from the kidney. Each person that is contacted points the finger at someone else claiming coding errors and at this point the start of more medication is another additional out-of-pocket-expense this is very costly.
If you know Gene personally, he would tell you he is no hero because the true hero’s were in the rubble, but to us and many others he is a Hero!! In his actions following 9/11 and in his daily being he is HERO to many!! Never once on 9/11 or in themonth that followed did he think of his personal safety or health and much like other 9/11 first responders he showed up and got the job done and honored those fallen.
Shame on the WTC Health Program for making a difficult time even worse!!! And now because of a selfless act he is stuck with the medical bills when his primary focus should be on healing.
NOW is when he needs our help!!! We are asking for prayers, donations and shareGene’s story far and wide! Please let him know he is not standing alone in this fight.
Let us never forget 9/11, the lives it took and the lives it continues to take. God Bless you all!
- Jon Wilber
- Christian Nunez
- William Smith
- Allen Chou
- Colin Goetz