Trooper who passed away from 9/11-related illness remembered
A Capital Region family is remembering a beloved father, husband and Trooper on this September 11th. Trooper Anson passed away in January from a 9/11 related illness.
“Dad was just the best guy ever. He was the best husband and father. He calls me, my brothers and mom his core four and he just put us above anything else. And then he put other people, any people, above himself. He was very selfless. I think that’s probably the best word that describes him,” said Mikala Anson, Trooper Anson’s daughter.
Mikala said that she was 10 years old when September 11th happened. Her dad was called to help and assured her he would be safe.
“So I just trusted that he would be safe, like he said. Two weeks later he came home and we just kind of went on with our lives,” said Mikala.
Trooper Anson’s wife Sue remembers that time as well.
“Watching the TV every night, and just the devastation, and just waiting for him to come home safe. And he did, and never was a thought that he would develop cancer,” said Sue Anson.
His family said that Trooper Anson was diagnosed with cancer last year through the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical monitoring and treatment to 9/11 survivors and responders who enroll.
Mikala said that her father had some of the best doctors and surgeons. They caught the cancer early and were able to do surgery to remove it. But his lungs were still already severely damaged. Doctors said it was a side effect of everything he breathed in at Ground Zero.
“His lungs looked like someone who had been smoking a couple packs a day for forty years, they said, and he had never smoked a day in his life,” said Mikala.
Trooper Anson passed away in January. His story illustrates the long term effects of September 11th.
Mikala said her dad would want survivors and other responders to know that help is available through the World Trade Center Health Center.
“I think if he were here he would say go get checked out, don't wait, don't make an excuse. Just go do it,” said Mikala.
An important message delivered by Trooper Anson’s children. It’s just one way his legacy continues. His children shared with CBS6 some of the lessons he taught them.
“I think Dad really instilled that in us that the best way to make a difference is go out, do your best, and try to help others,” said Mikala.
“That you can impact other people’s lives easier than you thought you could. That it’s not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be to save one person, you should always strive to do that,” said Marc Anson, Trooper Anson’s son.
Trooper Anson’s other son is following in his father’s footsteps, serving as a police officer in the Capital Region.
The whole family is selling shirts until Wednesday and taking donations on Venmo to raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower 5K run at the end of the month. The run raises money for a foundation that helps survivors and first responders and their families.