02 March 2011
This is the story of Steve Dornan, a veterans afflicted by cancer through his service but, like so many veterans, abandoned by his nation once he was sick. Rosy, God bless her, is fighting for her man and so are we! Rosy is on her third day of SIT IN at MP Greg Kerr office in Kingston, Nova Scotia in a effort to seek justice for her husband. Please, if you live in the area, please show your support. Stop by for a chat, bring her a coffee, toot the horn as you pass the office, do something to help these proud people receive the justice they deserve.
We are Canadians, lets act like Canadians, lets step up for Steve and Rosy, outstanding Canadians, abandoned by the Conservative Government of Canada in there time of need.
How many other veterans have been denied, how many veterans such as Warrant Officer Michael Peace, The RCR, will die from these insidious cancers? How many families will mourn without the compensation they deserve? More importantly, how many veterans will die knowing that they have been abandoned by Canada when they needed this nation most?
Step up. Email, phone fax, whatever means of communications you prefer, contact Minister Blackburn and MP Greg Kerr, DEMAND JUSTICE!!!!!
Veteran with cancer battles Ottawa for Pension
Kingston man exposed to uranium while serving in Yugoslavia in 1996
By GORDON DELANEY Valley Bureau
Wed, Mar 2 - 4:54 AM
Steven Dornan, 45, of Kingston, is battling Veteran Affairs Canada for a disability pension. Steven Dornan served two terms in Bosnia while in the Canadian military, but is now fighting a different kind of battle on two fronts.
Dornan, 45, is battling cancer that doctors say resulted from exposure to uranium while he served as a weapons inspector in the former war-torn Yugoslavia in 1996.
The Kingston, Kings County, resident is also battling with Veterans Affairs Canada for a pension that he and veterans groups say he is entitled to because of his illness.
"It's just atrocious," Dornan said in an interview Tuesday as his wife, Roseann, entered the second day of a sit-in at the Wilmot, Annapolis County, office of West Nova MP Greg Kerr.
Kerr, a Progressive Conservative, serves as a parliamentary secretary to Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn.
Dornan, a 25-year veteran of the Canadian Forces, said he has been fighting Veterans Affairs for the past nine years for a full pension for his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which doctors say was caused or aggravated by his exposure to toxic chemicals inhaled during his service in Bosnia. Doctors say Dornan's disease is a chronic lymphatic cancer that will eventually claim his life. He was given 15 years to live from the time of his initial diagnosis in 2002.
Dornan, who also served in Afghanistan in 2002 while undergoing cancer treatment, is being treated with drugs and chemotherapy. But doctors say the treatments will eventually stop working.
But the Veterans Affairs Review and Appeal Board has repeatedly denied him a disability pension, even though the Federal Court, along with five doctors and two scientists, has upheld his claim.
The review board ruled that the evidence presented by the doctors and scientists is not credible, even though the Federal Court has ruled that the board has no authority to rule on the credibility of expert witnesses.
"It is shameful behaviour and incredibly unjust," Roseann Dornan said in an email. "Their inability to do what is right has personally cost us much precious time, energy, frustration, and major financial strain."
"Most important of these is time, as my husband will only become more ill as his disease progresses." Dornan said she is staging the sit-in out of "profound frustration and desperation."
Steven Dornan said the only option left is to take his battle public. He wants his case referred to the veterans affairs minister and has made a formal request for the minister to review his claim.
"I am hoping that by shining a bright light on our personal, private issues and situation, the minister of veterans affairs will be able to review my husband's entire . . . file and hopefully give us closure and a graceful exit from this nine-year nightmare," said Roseann Dornan.
Michael Blais, founder of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy group in Ottawa, is encouraging other veterans and their families to support the Dornans.
"Many of you will know that Steve, a career soldier, has cancer attributed to his service in former Yugoslavia," Blais said in an email message distributed to veterans. "They have applied for . . . VAC support and have been denied through the appeal process, even though their doctors have attributed his cancer to his service." "I would encourage all veterans and their families who support . . . Canadian Veterans Advocacy to stand beside Rosie as she begins her quest for justice."
The Dornans organized a rally in Kingston last November to protest shoddy government treatment of Canadian military veterans.
Blackburn has said he is waiting to hear from the board concerning Dornan's formal request that the minister review the case.