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|Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:35 pm Post subject: George Martin's Journey for 9/11 Charitable Walk
From Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:00 am to Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After 2,827 Miles, Retired NFL Great George Martin’s Historic “a Journey for 9/11” Charitable Walk Reaches California, Last of 13 States on Route
Journey to End in San Diego on Saturday, June 21
Coast-to-Coast Journey Raises $4+ Million in Cash and Pledged Services So Far for Thousands of Heroic Ground Zero Workers Now in Severe Medical Distress
New York, NY, June 4, 2008 – Retired NFL great George Martin will tomorrow cross from Yuma, AZ, into California, the 13th and final state of his historic cross-country “a Journey for 9/11” walk to benefit thousands of ailing Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers. When he reaches the state border, Mr. Martin, who is likely the first African-American athlete to walk coast-to-coast on a charitable fundraising initiative, will have trekked 2,827 miles on foot. He has raised a combined $4+ million in cash and pledged medical services for seriously ill 9/11 workers from all 50 states.
Mr. Martin’s 3,020-mile trek is scheduled to end on Saturday, June 21, 2008, in San Diego, CA. (Note: Details about special events planned for the finish line and completion of the Journey will be announced separately.) The former New York Giants football star and co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI championship team started walking west from the George Washington Bridge in New York City on September 16, 2007. His path can be tracked daily via a GPS system accessible at www.ajourneyfor911.info.
“As physically and mentally challenging as this Journey has been, it pales in comparison to the everyday hurdles that thousands of seriously ill 9/11 workers now face every day,” said Mr. Martin. “I walk a mile, or 10 miles, like it’s nothing, and many of these heroic people who helped heal our nation cannot even walk up the steps in their own homes due to severe respiratory and other ailments. And some are dying. Although the walking portion of our Journey will soon conclude, there is much work to be done. Many are without adequate health and disability insurance, and these heroes need our nation’s help. I will continue raising money and awareness on their behalf. It’s unconscionable that these brave, selfless individuals aren’t getting all the medical assistance they need.”
The Medical Problems of Working at Ground Zero
Mr. Martin, on leave from his position as vice president of sports marketing at AXA Equitable in New York, is raising funds to provide medical monitoring and healthcare for 9/11 responders who are suffering from chronic bronchial disease, leukemia and other cancers, post traumatic stress disorder and other serious medical conditions stemming from their service at Ground Zero after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Three major medical institutions (see below) will match in healthcare services all the money raised by the Journey.*
Medical studies indicate that working at Ground Zero led to serious, long-term medical problems for tens of thousands of 9/11 responders.
A study by Mt. Sinai Medical Center found that nearly 70 percent of the 40,000+ 9/11 responders have suffered lung disease and other health problems.
One in five has low lung capacity, five times the normal rate.
One in eight developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Source: NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene).
The rate of those developing asthmatic conditions after exposure to Ground Zero is 12 times the normal adult rate.
“This is truly a national problem,” says Mr. Martin, who noted that more than 10,000 people who live outside of the NY, NJ and CT tri-state area are enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry, including people from all 50 states.
In October 2007, Mr. Martin walked through Washington, DC, where he met with several members of the U.S. Congress who are advocating legislation for additional funding for 9/11 healthcare programs. For more information, visit: http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1468&Itemid=61.
For more information on the status of federal 9/11 healthcare legislation, visit: http://maloney.house.gov/documents/911recovery/backgroundmemo.pdf
About George Martin, the Route and the Journey Team
George Martin was a star defensive end and co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI Champion New York Giants (1986). During his 14 NFL seasons (1975-1988), the longtime Giant scored eight touchdowns -- seven of them as a defensive lineman, which set an NFL record that stood until 2007. Mr. Martin is a former president of the NFL Players Association.
On his Journey, Mr. Martin has passed through portions of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, before entering California tomorrow.
Mr. Martin, now 55, trained more than three months for this trek and has lost more than 40 pounds since it began. Throughout his travels, he is accompanied by a security officer; an advance
person/technology specialist who is documenting and routing the Journey; and a driver who trails in a customized SUV. In addition to walking, Mr. Martin visits schools, fire houses, police stations, government offices, and other places where he raises awareness about the plight of Ground Zero workers.
For his charitable efforts, Mr. Martin was named one of ABC News’ 2007 “Persons of the Year.” In December 2007, Mr. Martin received the prestigious Heisman Humanitarian Award, and last month he broke from the Journey route to accept an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey in recognition of his lifelong commitment to community service.
To make a tax deductible financial donation, mail a check to “a Journey for 9/11,” c/o Valley National Bank, P.O. Box 707, Wayne, NJ 07474-0707, or call 800-889-8038. Contributions can also be made online via www.ajourneyfor911.info.
Support from Business, Medical, Education, Sports and Charitable Community
Sponsors of the Journey include AXA Equitable; Fairleigh Dickinson University; Best Western International; MBT Physiological Footwear; Intelligent Design; United Parcel Service; Bear Stearns; Proskauer Rose LLP; Proforma Associates; Nike; Tana Seybert Printing; Hunter Douglas; the New York Giants; the National Football League; the National Football League Players Association; General Motors; Sprint; World Wrestling Entertainment; Big Blue Travel; CV Technologies; ESRI; KeySpan Energy; Lou Hammond Associates; MAN Etc., Inc; Nautilus; SJI Associates; S& L Services; Sunoco and Valley National Bank. Beau Dietl & Associates is providing security for the Journey. Philanthropists Joseph H. and Dr. Carol F. Reich have made a substantial donation as well.
* Hackensack University Medical Center (NJ), North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems (NY) and the Mt. Sinai Medical Center (NY) will match in medical services the total funds Mr. Martin’s Journey raises.