They selflessly and valiantly rushed to Ground Zero to help save lives when the World Trade Center towers fell 20 years ago.
Now, some New England first responders are bravely fighting to save their own lives.
25 Investigates reviewed data from the largest federal program that studies and treats 9/11 first responders and survivors and found that more than half of them have a Ground Zero exposure-related sickness.
Among them are 345 men and women from Massachusetts and 104 from New Hampshire. Connecticut, with 621, had the most first responders from New England in the program. Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont had 67, 66 and 44 respectively.
Acton Deputy Fire Chief Anita Arnum is one of them.
She spent two weeks at Ground Zero with the Massachusetts Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team from Beverly.