9/11 Stories: Susan Giacchi

Susan Giacchi lived in New Jersey but worked as an office manager near The World Trade Center on Broad Street. After arriving at her office, she got a call from her receptionist saying one of the towers had been hit by a plane. Susan was still in her office on the 12th floor when the second tower was hit, and made the decision that it was best for everyone to leave the building.

Once downstairs, Susan learned the executives at her company wanted everyone sent back upstairs, surmising it was safer inside than outside. No one knew what to do. Someone in the building thought to shut off the air conditioning to prevent the dust of the collapsed tower from getting inside the building. Outside, some men were ripping off their shirt sleeves, handing them out so people could cover their mouths and noses.

Leaving and walking toward the Brooklyn Bridge with 5 other women from her office, Giacchi watched the second tower fall. She tried to keep everyone calm, telling them to continue heading toward The Brooklyn Bridge, her plan to get them all to safety with her sister, who lived in Bensonhurst . She says she never felt more vulnerable than the walk across the bridge.

Thirteen years after 9/11, Giacchi was diagnosed with skin cancer, the most prevalent 9/11 cancer. With 68 cancers tied to the toxic dust, no matter her family history, her cancer was PRESUMED caused by the toxins, entitling Susan to free lifetime health care and compensation from The Victim Compensation Fund. Her exposure was miniscule in comparison to responders who worked months in the recovery effort at Ground Zero.

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