On January 26, 2010, Janette MacKinlay, a survivor of 9/11, underwent surgery, a biopsy, following the discovery of a brain tumor last week. I saw her in the hospital following the surgery, and she was her warm, gracious, lucid self, even sharing with me the latest examples of note cards she has had printed, featuring her beautiful ikebana art images. Last September, we had worked together on the 9/11 Film Festival, held at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, California to draw attention to many 9/11 issues, including the plight of the those suffering from their exposure to the toxic dust, over 800 have died so far, that we know about. Janette believes that her tumor was probably caused by 9/11 and that she, along with many, many, others will be counted as victims of 9/11, as more and more “cancers and tumors” are found.
Fortunate- A Personal Diary of 9/11
Janette’s entire story bears repeating. She wrote a book, Fortunate- A Personal Diary of 9/11, which features photographs from her personal experience, as well as the ikebana floral arrangements that she created, in her effort to heal. On September 11, 2001, she was living across the street from the World Trade Center, and directly witnessed the fires and the collapses which broke the windows of her apartment. Some of the dust that she saved from her apartment, she sent to the physicist Steven Jones who analyzed it, finding iron spheres, as well as chips of nanothermite. Janette had a cameo appearance in Loose Change- 9/11 An American Coup, as well as other 9/11 truth documentaries, and has been interviewed on many mainstream television and radio stations. I hope a great, sensitive, filmmaker decides to make a film about Janette someday, because her story is one of great personal transformation, courage and hope, illustrated by her artistic creations. They say that the most personal story is the most universal and I suspect that the collective American psyche has not yet caught up with Janette, but will someday, hopefully before it is too late.
I met Janette in the summer of 2004, when activists had launched a campaign to “Blow the Whistle on the 9/11 Cover-Up!” in the Bay Area, and had gathered at a Commonwealth Club event where the featured speakers were members of the 9/11 Commission reporting their findings. I was tabling outside of the event and gave Janette a copy of David Ray Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbor-Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration for her book. The Deception Dollar artist, Blaine Machan, by coincidence, sent me Janette’s contact info on the same day that I met her (She had contacted him and was including Deception Dollars in one of her anti-war art exhibitions). Janette says that the commissioners, themselves, that day, persuaded her that they were concealing, rather than searching for the truth about 9/11. Subsequently, Janette became very active with our group, the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, hosting and organizing events, parties, mailing parties, becoming Treasurer, as well as speaking out publicly. (Her February 23, 2006 talk and powerpoint presentation from the event that she organized- Question 9/11- A Call to Action at the Grand Lake Theater are posted here).
Later, when she visited New York and her old apartment complex, she discovered that her renovated apartment was for rent, she decided to move back to New York City, and became involved with the East Coast activists. Her unique connections with family members, survivors, West Coast activists, East Coast activists helped her to bridge differences and pull diverse people together. She poured a lot of energy into the 9/11 Accountability Conference in Arizona in 2007, as well as the NYC Coalition for Accountability Now effort in 2009.
In the past few months, a number of meetings have been held with lawyers and activists, discussing how best to secure subpoena power and get those most responsible for 9/11 to speak, and to be held criminally accountable for their actions. Janette has been amongst the most active people, doing the vital legwork to seek accountability.
Mike Daly, an ironworker, who has been trying to educate the public about the enormous Captive Fund- created by Congress to “compensate workers for their injuries involved in the clean-up” (See- www.wtccaptivefund.com The huge fund has only hired lawyers to fight claims, paid out almost no money at all to those who have suffered ill health, as a result of 9/11, but has paid big bucks to those managing the fund.) well, Mike was visiting Janette last Wednesday evening when Janette suddenly had trouble speaking. A friend had telephoned her to ask for directions and realized that something was seriously wrong with her and came over immediately to get her to the hospital. Mike had gone to see Janette, because he felt that her artwork should be made into metal sculptures, memorials to 9/11.
This week, Janette had planned to begin taking care of her three month old grandson, Huxley, two days a week. Those plans have been turned upside-down and her two sons, Brian and Mark ,have been looking after Janette and taking her to and from the hospital.
I have not spoken directly with Janette’s doctors or her family about her medical condition. I learned from Janette that they told her that she has a fast growing tumor, the kind associated with people doing construction work, and that the professionals have advised her that she has between 6 months and a year to live. I have learned, from experience, that patients are sometimes not told the truth about their condition or their treatments, and that Western medicine has its limitations. I learned about alternative medicine, before I learned about “alternative politics or alternative media.” Years ago, my fiancé had a tumor, the size of an orange, removed from the center of his brain, and received a very bleak diagnosis for survival. He also had a dramatic remission, thanks to a classic Chinese herbal treatment, prescribed by the Director of Cancer Research in Beijing. I know many people who have survived brain tumors and who have overcome cancer through holistic, natural remedies. Janette has a very strong spirit and with the love and support of friends and family, I hope that she will recover from her surgery, and in the process of healing herself, add to our insights on how we can heal the world. I believe that truth, love, spirit are stronger than the lies, fear, malice deployed to control humanity.
I would encourage everyone to send some love and healing energy towards Janette, as well as towards all the victims, first responders, inhabitants of New York City, and New Jersey, who came into contact with the toxic dust.