No Responders Left Behind

2020, Documentary

NO RESPONDERS LEFT BEHIND is a feature documentary following 9/11 activist and responder John Feal as he struggles to move past 9/11 knowing so many ailing First Responders continue to fight for the medical and financial support they deserve. John is the voice of those left behind. 

  

 

More about NO RESPONDERS LEFT BEHIND

In the years since September 11th thousands of First Responders have fallen victim to fatal respiratory illnesses and cancers. Experts predict that by 2020 more people will die from 9/11 illnesses than those who died on September 11th. Despite the fact that there is conclusive evidence that these terminal conditions are directly related to the exposure of toxins found at ground zero, First Responders were denied coverage by their existing medical insurance.

 

In an attempt to find justice for survivors who had nowhere else to turn, John Feal created the FealGood Foundation, and quickly became the voice for thousands of 9/11 First Responders. For fourteen years, John lobbied the US Congress and in 2015 the Zadroga Act was passed, a bill giving all First Responders the medical and financial coverage they need and deserve.

 

Today, John is trying to put his own life back together and move on from the events of September 11th, but struggles to walk away when there are still so many Responders in need of his help.  As John wrestles with his own destiny, he inspires and encourages others to take action in their own causes, as he is living proof that one person really can make a difference. John has made it his mission to ensure that No Responders are Left Behind.

 

No Responders Left Behind follows John, in his day to day life running the FealGood Foundation.  We are also introduced to Ray Pfeifer, a former FDNY and First Responder now suffering with multiple 9/11 related illnesses, and Jon Stewart, former late night talk show host, who has advocated along with John and Ray in support of the Zadroga Act.  Throughout the film we will also meet several other First Responders, friends and family of John as well featuring interviews with doctors, lawyers and politicians. 

 

Throughout the film there are many elements that feature John actively pursuing his social advocacy toward helping 9/11 Responders.  Our “fly-on-wall” cameras are there to capture John as he meets with his best friend Ray Pfiefer and ally Jon Stewart. We follow John through the preparation and execution of the Reading of Names ceremony at the  9/11 Responders Park that he created in Long Island. A big part of John’s duties with the FealGood Foundation are to help ailing Responders navigate through their financial and medical situations.  John is always the first man to visit Responders who need advice, a companion on trips to doctors appointments or assistance in registering for care.  At various times in the films narrative we learn how John created the FealGood Foundation to assist ailing Responders and how he and his team had to travel to Washington over 200 times for Congress to pass the Zadroga Act that compensates Responder in need.  We round out our journey with John, learning all about his personal life as we meet friends and family who talk about his earlier advocacy efforts and we finish our journey with Ray and John at Ground Zero being honoured by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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Paradox Pictures    |   Toronto, ON   |   rob@paradoxpictures.net