Former Stuyvesant High School students raise awareness of 9/11 health rights

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- Former high school students are speaking out about 9/11 related illnesses.

The students who attended Stuyvesant High School want other students, teachers and people who worked in Lower Manhattan to know their health care rights after being exposed to toxins.

Tens of thousands of people were sickened in the days, weeks, months and even years after September 11th.

Among them are students who went back to class in Lower Manhattan, in the middle of all the toxic dust and debris.

Former students of Stuyvesant High School on Chambers Street say they are suffering from 9/11 related illnesses, from breathing issues to various forms of cancer.

They along with the United Federation of Teachers and 9/11 activists are part of the coalition "Know your Rights."

They want to make sure that anyone who thinks he or she may have gotten sick from exposure knows about the World Trade Center Health Fund.

Lila Nordstom attended Stuyvesant High School during 9/11 and is now being treated for several illnesses.

"From a building that had not been properly cleaned, to a neighborhood that was filled with smoke and still filled with dust and debris, to a school building that was located next to the barge where all of the debris from Ground Zero was being taken," Nordstrom said.

"It's really important that anyone, anyone who was in Downtown Manhattan who was told that they could come back here, that they get this information and register," said Michael Mulgrew, United Federation of Teachers.

Two public health forums are being held at Stuyvesant High School at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday to provide information to those who may have been exposed.

Advocates estimate there are 400,000 people eligible for compensation. So far, 80,000 first-responders and ordinary residents have registered.

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