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Department of Veterans Affairs Issues New Proposed Rules on MPNs (click here for additional information)


 

MPN Advocacy and Education International is moving closer to our goal of getting MPNs on the VA’s ‘presumptive’ list of conditions resulting from exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin during the Vietnam War. (Current list of illnesses on the VA’s presumptive list.)  It is an arduous process, but we remain optimistic and steadfast. We were able to engage a Member of Congress who has agreed to help us in our effort to meet with VA Secretary McDonald.  This could be our greatest hurdle and give us the answers we have wanted for so long.  If you are a Vietnam Veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and now have a diagnosis of MF, PV, or ET please contact us and help in our efforts.  The light is flickering at the end of the tunnel.

Take Action

In our effort to get MPNs (myeloproliferative neoplasms – polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis) on the VA’s ‘presumptive’ list and to improve awareness of key individuals please consider following:

  • Contact Your Legislators.  Tell your story.  The U.S. House of Representative and Senate can help, ask them to contact VA Secretary Robert McDonald.  We can provide assistance, contact us for additional information.

  To be placed on our email list or if you have additional questions please contact Ann Brazeau:  abrazeau@mpnadvocacy.com, Phone: 517.899.6889


 Vietnam:  The Battle at Home
By Barry Halembarry

See the guy in the picture. Nice smile on the outside, but inside, not so much. That is what it’s like living with essential thrombocythemia. It’s a life sentence without parole. The need for MPN advocacy and continued MPN research is essential or there would be no smile at all. Over the last year, in an effort to influence the Veterans Administration, MPN Advocacy and Education International and I have made contact with the almost three hundred Vietnam Veterans with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) and we continue our outreach to find more.

The VA has denied almost all claims for compensation because they say there is no scientific proof that these diseases resulted from exposure to Agent Orange. Yet, other blood cancers are on their ‘presumptive’ list including, hairy cell leukemia, B Cell leukemia, and multiple myeloma. The ‘presumptive’ list presumes a disease was caused by exposure to AO so why the need for a smoking gun for MPNs.

These afflicted Vietnam veterans from all over the country have one basic thing in common, their exposure to Agent Orange. In my opinion, Agent Orange was “friendly fire.” The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong did not expose us, our own government did. The casualty all these years later from Agent Orange exposure cannot even be counted.

Ironically, some individual veterans with MPNs have received full or partial benefits so why aren’t all of us? War is never fair, to fight at home for fair and impartial treatment is equally unfair. There are too many veterans with essential thrombocythemia, myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera for it to be a coincidence. Our efforts will continue in hopes of persuading the VA to put MPNs on the ‘presumptive’ list where they belong.

If you are a Vietnam Veteran with polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia

or myelofibrosis, please contact us.

 

 


 

The following was shared with us by a Vietnam Veteran and my be helpful in your efforts:

I went to a Veteran’s “Help” organization in the summer of 2014.  I actually went for assistance with filing a hearing claim.  These guys were thorough.  Thus, in addition to the hearing claim assistance, they went through a checklist…..and in doing so assisted me with filing a PV claim and an agent orange registry application.  The hearing claim was fairly perfunctory, resulting in an award.  As they told me would be the case, the PV claim was denied……….but the idea was to file the claim so that, in event the MPNs are added to the presumptive list, the claim will revert back to the filing date………….as all VA claims do.  The benefit to that is that the compensation commences on the claim date.  There seem to be Veterans’ assistance organizations in every state………………and these guys are superb at advocating for the Vets they voluntarily serve.   David

We know this has been a long journey and time is of the essence. Your patience has been appreciated and we are dedicated to seeing this through.

 

 

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One Comment

  1. I was in Vietnam 18 months, 5 May 68 to 7 Dec 69, and exposed to AO. At age of 62 I was diagnosed with Carcinoid cancer of the stomach, that was Sept 09, one year later my Doctors removed half of my stomach and 8 inches small intestine, VA denied my claim for Carcinoid.
    In 2010 I was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera, a rare blood cancer, VA also denied my claim for that, I re-submitted a claim for the denial 4 months ago, haven’t heard a word since.
    In 2012 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, VA awarded me 30%. I have no family history of any of this, I believe AO is responsible for all of this. VA should upgrade their “presumptive” list of diseases.

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