Amarillo, TX - Compensation is now available for thousands of former employees and contractors of the Pantex Plant who were diagnosed with cancer.
The approval from Congress marks a monumental day.
Between 1958 and 1983, many people walked in and out of the Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
They were unknowingly exposed to radiation, and as a result were diagnosed with cancer.
After six long years of action, their voices have finally been heard.
William Clark worked as a contracted electrician at Pantex for several years.
"I didn't ever wear an exposure badge or anything. I went where the people were wearing them but I was never required to put one on," says William Clark, contracted electrician, Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
In 2007 his health took a turn for the worst.
"They came back to me later and said to me, 'we want you for operation tomorrow morning.' I said, 'why tomorrow morning?' Well they found out I had cancer," says William Clark, contracted electrician, Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
He was exposed to so much radiation that the bad news didn't stop there.
"They found four different cancers in me, in my lung," says William Clark, contracted electrician, Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
After removing all the cancer, they thought he was clean but it came back even harder.
"Just recently, they found out the cancer went into my bones," says William Clark, contracted electrician, Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
Along with his intestines, his ribs and back in his lungs.
Now that Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services have approved the compensation, the 90-year-old can rest easier.
"I'm real happy," says William Clark, contracted electrician, Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
He along with many others are eligible to file a claim or submit a new claim if they were once denied.
"Just straight across the board the amount of compensation for part B, which is radio-genic cancers and beryllium diseases, is 150-thousand dollars," says Sarah Ray, advocate and former Pantex Plant employee.
Along with all their past and present medical expenses paid for.
Sarah Ray was the advocate who fought a hard battle in order to make this all possible.
Although Clark can't change his own fate, he says he can help change others'.
"There's a lot of people out there that have the same problem that I've got and they don't even know it," says William Clark, contracted electrician, Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
Aid is being offered through the Energy Employees Compensation Resource Center in Espanola, New Mexico. They can answer any questions and help you file a claim at 866-272-3622. People from the resource will be coming to Amarillo and hold a meeting at Carpenters Union Hall January 25th and 26th. Call them ahead of time to set up an appointment.
To get a hold of Sarah Ray, who has been the advocate for the approval process and will be setting up more meetings for anyone needing help, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To get information about the qualifications you need to file a claim or about the compensation you can receive click the link below: