Home News U.S. Senator blasts the VA for denying sick Marine ‘service-connected’ benefits

U.S. Senator blasts the VA for denying sick Marine ‘service-connected’ benefits


VA Hospital Matt York AP

Marine veteran Joe Zambito has to live the rest of his life on dialysis. He lost his right kidney to cancer in 1999. Then in 2010,  he lost his bladder and left kidney to the disease.

Apparently Zambito is not the only Marine dealing with this medical nightmare — after drinking and bathing in “toxic water” at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Countless other Marines and their families are having similar issues.

“They’re losing major organs from their body, they’re dying, and it seems like they don’t care,”  Zambito’s wife said.

According to an investigative report by News Channel 8, “The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ties kidney and several other cancers to the Camp Lejeune water contamination.”

Zambito was never seen by a VA doctor and records show that his private doctors were not consulted. The VA somehow came to the conclusion, however, that his kidney cancer was not connected to Camp Lejeune, but his bladder cancer was. (The VA has recently given disability status to those affected by the toxic water at Lejeune).

The couple says that seems completely absurd and illogical.

“If you got cancer in the kidney, it’s going to go down to the bladder,” Joe told the Tampa news station. To make matters worse, the VA rejected Joe’s claim for “service-connected” disability benefits because the agency claimed his bladder cancer was in remission.

When a reporter shared the story with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and pointed out that Joe’s bladder is gone, Nelson said this: “You tell that Marine to contact me, and he won’t have a bit of trouble after that.”

Nelson called the VA’s decision, “idiotic.”

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