How Tom Cruise is helping the victims of 9/11, including my own family.
Momlogic's Yvette: I make my living interviewing celebrities, so I'm not the one who usually gets star struck. But recently, I found there is one exception to my rule: Tom Cruise. I've interviewed Tom many times and he's always charming, polite and entertaining. But this time I had an opportunity to speak to Tom not just as a producer, but as a wife and mother. It was a conversation I'll never forget, an experience I'll cherish forever and one my entire family will be eternally grateful for.
Back in September, I wrote about my family's experience on 9/11. I wrote about the terror of holding my four-month-old baby in my arms and watching from the deck of our home as the 2nd plane crashed into the south tower just a mere mile away from us. I wrote about how my husband, Dave, a news cameraman, was covering the tragedy when the first tower collapsed. He came away with some of the most chilling news footage of that day and nearly lost his life in the process.
We know how lucky we were that Dave walked away that morning when so many others died. But like so many families who had loved ones exposed to the toxic dust and smoke of 9/11 -- we realized that the danger didn't end when the debris was cleared. Rescue workers and people like Dave, who spent months on location covering the tragedy, were exposed to dangerous toxins. Now, years later, so many of these people are suffering from a variety of ailments which are a direct result of breathing in that dangerous air.
That's where Tom Cruise comes in. Tom is a huge supporter and sponsor of the NY Rescue Worker's Detox Program. The program offers a free 30-day detox to those affected by 9/11, including most recently -- my husband, Dave. We had heard stories about how the detox worked to rid the body of these dangerous chemicals, but didn't really know what to make of it until the day Dave called to tell me that as he sat in the sauna, the towel draped across his body turned blue, yellow and black -- a result of the heavy metals and toxins he had ingested on 9/11.
In the craziest coincidence ever, I was scheduled to interview Tom Cruise the day after Dave finished the detox. As we were chatting before our interview began, I mentioned to Tom that Dave had just completed the program. It didn't matter that he had dozens of interviews waiting -- right then and there, Tom Cruise the superstar took a back seat to Tom Cruise the husband, father and humanitarian. He stayed with me and asked me about Dave -- what happened to him, how he was feeling and what he thought of the program. He wanted to know everything. This actor was not acting concerned -- he was concerned. Instead of asking him questions about Katie and Suri, I found myself answering Tom's questions about my own family.
We finally broke away and it was my turn to ask the questions -- this time about Tom's new film, "Valkyrie." We talked about the film, and he mentioned how he grateful he is for his family -- his three wonderful children and his beautiful wife, Katie. As our interview wrapped, Tom Cruise put his arms around me and hugged me. "Thank you." He said. "Thank you for telling me about your family."
Back when Tom helped bring the detox to NY several years ago, there were concerns and questions about the program. Now, six years later, over 900 rescue workers have been helped, including my husband. The results and support from the rescue worker community have been astounding.
So many people know Tom Cruise as the movie star, the action hero and the one who always saves the day on the big screen. But it seems Tom doesn't need a script to save the day. He's doing it every single day. Through his generosity and concern for those affected by 9/11 -- Tom Cruise is an everyday hero to so many families, including my own.