Sunday, family, friends and colleagues bid an emotional farewell to NYPD Lieutenant Marci Simms, 51, who died from lung cancer after serving the nation on 9/11. Simms was one of the thousands of first responders who worked at ground zero. The Lieutenant spent more than four months doing rescue, recovery and cleanup work among the smoldering debris. It is thought the continued inhalation of the dust from the columns coming down attributed to her sickness, lung cancer. Lt. Simms, died of the illness Thursday at her Long Island home. It is calculated that 2,500 people who have passed away as a consequence of their work at the World Trade Center site. Simms was diagnosed with lung cancer a little over a year ago.
Susan Fosco, 63, of Oceanside, said of her sister Simms that her sister suffered while doing her job to remove debris and search for victims of the largest terrorist operation to ever happen in the United States. Fosco said, “Her throat was burning; her eyes were burning, and that she “always took care of everybody, and she always did the right thing.” Her sister remarked that “She always said, ‘What a man can do, I can do better.” Simms always wanted to be a police officer and realized her dream after graduating from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1998. Simms in an interview with the Stoney Brook University of Journalism recounted how she found out that she had contracted lung cancer. She said, “I had a back ache,” Simms said. “I thought I did something wrong working around the house. But I noticed a lump on my stomach. Even my doctor thought it was nothing but a cyst.” But it wasn’t, the cyst turned out to be lung cancer, which had spread by the time the diagnosis was made.
A friend and advocate on behalf of the 9/11 responders who have become ill, John Feal said: “She also came to this park knowing that sadly one day she would be on this wall. And we humbly will honor Marcy next year when we do the reading of the names.” Feal is now fighting on behalf of the responders whose health has failed but need insurance coverage. Simms’s medical costs were taken care of by the James Zadroga, 9/11 Health Compensation Act, but Congress failed to renew the program last month. It is set to expire in October 2016. Feal continued by saying, “What about those whose families are being torn apart by 9/11-related illnesses yet they have a cloud of uncertainty because the nation’s leaders can’t come together to pass a bipartisan bill?” Feal commented about Simms, “She also came to this park memorial in Lake Ronkonkoma knowing that sadly one day she would be on this wall. And we humbly will honor Marcy next year when we do the reading of the names.”