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John Feal, 9/11 Responder, Helps Injured Get Benefits

First Posted: 09/09/11 09:44 AM ET Updated: 11/09/11 05:12 AM ET

September 11 responder John Feal knows what it means to experience frustration on top of heartache and pain.

Feal had spent days at the 9/11 site when 8,000 pounds of steel crushed his foot.

After a few years passed, he decided he wanted to help others with 9/11-related illnesses and injuries.

In 2005, he started the FealGood Foundation, which provides financial assistance and help with missing benefits for the heroes who responded on 9/11.

"I saw an everyday need for men and women who risk their lives without prejudice, who are sick and dying from their heroic actions," Feal said. "I saw a need for them to survive each and every day."

He points out that those suffering from 9/11-related illnesses will soon outnumber those who died on the day of the attack. To date, the organization has donated more than $400,000 to responders.

Feal says besides helping responders, he hopes he's inspired others.

"I'd like to think that I've given thousands more hope that somebody with limited resources like myself could make a difference."

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Filed by Jessica Prois  |