NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Michael Dorian went down to Ground Zero on 9/1 as a civilian. He is a veterinary technician and was told his experience drawing blood, administering oxygen to first responders and washing out their eyes would be of help.
He was there for about 24 hours. Most of that time, he was working on top of the pile. Within days, he was in the hospital with throat burns. He had a fever and tracheal burns from inhaling the debris.
Two years ago, 14 years after 9/11, Michael was diagnosed with skin cancer, which is on the World Trade Center health program's list of illnesses linked to 9/11. He says his doctors have given him just two years to live. Despite that prognosis, Michael, now 49, says he does not regret helping at Ground Zero. He says he would do it again because he knows he helped.
Now Michael is trying to help other civilians. He says he never realized his cancer could be linked to 9/11 and was not aware of the World Trade Center health program at Mount Sinai Hospital. It is available to anyone who lived or worked south of Canal Street. He is urging everyone to get screened, even if they don't have symptoms now.
Michael has a positive attitude and is thankful for every day he has. Michael says a drug is currently in clinical trials that could possibly prolong his life. If that drug is eventually approved by the FDA -- and there's no guarantee it will be -- Michael is hoping he will stay alive long enough to get the chance to try it.