PFF Ambassador and 9/11 First Responder Shares PF Story

September 18, 2019
Each September, our client the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) observes Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, a 30-day campaign to raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a devastating lung disease affecting more than 200,000 people in the United States.
To raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis and #PFMonth, the PFF team tapped PFF Ambassador and retired NYPD detective Tom Frey to help us shine a light on this disease. Tom was a 9/11 first responder who was called to Ground Zero on that fateful day in 2001. Years later, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and then PF, all linked back to the toxic chemicals from his 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts.
In the months leading up to September, we proactively pitched Tom’s story to national media outlets in hopes that we can help others understand the many journeys people affected by PF have experienced. As part of these efforts, we secured national print, online and broadcast coverage in support of Tom’s heartfelt story.
Broadcast: We worked with NBC New York to plan a segment, where Tom revisits September 11 by walking the grounds of the World Trade Center Memorial with NBC 4 reporter David Ushery. You can watch the full segment here.
Print: Cindy Dampier of the Chicago Tribune spoke with Tom and the PFF’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cosgrove on a piece about 9/11-related illnesses on the rise among first responders. Read the Tribune cover story here.
Online: Tom shared his PF story with Today Show Online’s health contributor Agnes Pawlowski. Read about his experience at Ground Zero in his own words here.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that remains largely unknown, even among doctors, and can lead to later stage diagnoses. With more than 50,000 new cases of pulmonary fibrosis diagnosed annually, it is imperative that we raise awareness of the disease and educate patients on all of their healthcare options. To learn more, visit