20th anniversary of 9/11 remembered in former FDNY firefighters podcast

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PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Niels Jorgensen, 52, a longtime resident of Brick Township and former NYPD officer and firefighter of FDNY ladder 114 who was in New York City on the day of Sept. 11, 2001 is the host of a podcast entitled “20 for 20” where he interviews 20 guests and contrasts personal experiences as a part of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the World Trade Center.

The funds for the charity driven podcast go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Culley Strong Foundation.

“Our main focus is to not let the day be forgotten,” he told The Ocean Star.

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Throughout the first three episodes released so far of the podcast, guests recall their memories of the tragedy and reflect 20 years later on the events in an effort to bring attention to those who perished, and those currently living with the effects of the event. Mr. Jorgensen, like many of his friends and coworkers in New York City, unfortunately contracted and continues to fight a rare form of cancer, hairy cell leukemia, due to his time working at ground zero.

“Many of my friends are fighting, some have been recently diagnosed, some have been in the fight for years, and they feel left behind. We don’t expect people to stop us on the street, but they are suffering in silence,” he said.

He explained that over time cancers including his own have been accounted for, yet diagnosis of autoimmune problems have long gone unaccounted, leaving many with thousands of dollars in medical bills. One of the messages of the podcast is to bring attention to the diseases that are clearly connected to 9/11 with no financial justification.

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