Retired NYC officer still fighting 9/11-related cancer: “I’m gonna beat it”

Billy Kelly, a retired New York City police officer and married father of five, is still in the midst of a fierce battle with 9/11-related skin cancer.

“I’m still fighting the cancer, and I’m gonna beat it,” he tells 95.5 WSB’s Robyn Walensky.

The disease, a rare form, started on Billy’s head and spread to his liver and pancreas.

Billy, who now lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, recently suffered a stroke and is having seizures.

>>Listen to 95.5 WSB Reporter Robyn Walensky’s on-air report below.

On September 11, 2001, Billy was at Ground Zero.

He then transferred with his Forensics Unit to an area near the Staten Island Landfill where he sifted through toxic 9/11 debris. His job: to look for human remains.

Billy deals with PTSD on an almost-daily basis. “I still dream about that, being down there, it’s fresh in my mind,” he tells Walensky. “I mean I can close my eyes and go to sleep sometimes, and I’ll wake up the next day and think I was still down at Ground Zero.”

Two of Billy’s children are now members of the U.S. Military and we thank them, and Billy for his service to our country.

However, Billy worries about America’s future now that we are out of Afghanistan. “There were only 2,500 service men over in the last year and there wasn’t a casualty, so we were able to keep them under control with only 2,500 service men,” he says, while also posing the question, “So now we are not going to have any over there?”

He adds, “So they [the terrorists] are going to do what they want to do, like they always do, especially if we don’t take care of business.”

Nicole Bennett

Nicole Bennett

CMG Digital Content Producer

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