Ground Zero worker using billboards to plead for medical coverage
A screengrab of Mike Megna, 44, of West Milford's billboard. Megna, a 9/11 rescue worker, is using the billboards to plead for medical coverage for his kidney disease.
A New Jersey man who spent three weeks looking for survivors in the days after the 9/11 attacks is using billboards in a push to have his kidney disease added to the list of covered conditions by a fund to help Ground Zero workers with health problems.
In 2007, doctors discovered Mike Megna, 44, had a rare kidney disease. The former U.S. Marine believes it was caused by dust from the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center towers.
Megna, a father of three and West Milford resident, has rented two billboards in New Jersey near New York City that plead, "Add Kidney Disease for 9/11 Rescue Workers!" The signs include Megna's name and picture.
In a video posted to Facebook, Megna says he has been waiting eight years for NYACH to certify his disease and his kidneys are at "45 percent of failing."
"In order to get money from the Victim's Compensation Fund, you have to get your disease certified by NYACH. How much longer do I have to wait?" asks Megna.
A spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which administers the fund, says there's not enough evidence yet to connect the condition to Ground Zero.