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I am trying to find out if anyone expose to agent orange might have came down with Myelodysplastic Syndrome - MDS - I'm fighting veterans affairs because I have MDS and I must have had it on my clothes when I was at home because my wife at the time also came down with Leukemia and we are trying to find out now what type she had because we didn't talk for a lot of years but it is very strange that we were both at the same base here in the U.S. and both came down with Leukemia. I was handling pilots gear and in close contact with their pilots suits. so if anyone has any information in regards to this please contact me - thank you very much...Ron

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MY HUSBAND HAD IT AND FILED A CLAIM---HE WAS DENIED--AND SINCE PASSED AWAY. BUT THEY ARE RE-OPENING HIS CLAIM. MDS WAS THE CAUSE OF HIS DEATH. I READ AN APPEAL ON WATCHDOG.COM WHERE THIS VETERAN FROM INDIANA HAD MDS AND WAS FINALLY AWARDED 100% DISABILITY . HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU.
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My husband is having the same problem with the VA
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This is an individual matter depending on the type of MDS. It depends on what abnormalities that you might have with the MDS. I have a friend who has trisomy 8 which is a third copy of the 8th chromosome. This is a genetic mutation that was caused by AO exposure and which, in turn, caused his MDS. His hematologist prepared a 5 or 6 letter with over 23 citations that clearly established a nexus for agent orange exposure and his MDS. At the end he said that he was convinced that nothing other tha agent orange caused the MDS. He was awarded 100 % P and T. It took 18 months which isn't bad for the VA and there was no need to appeal.

He says that the key is to prepare a well grounded and thorough claim and to include all possible evidence. It also helps if you have a physician who will take the time to write a letter for you that makes a scientific case for why agent orange caused your MDS. Simply saying that it is his/her opinion that Agent Orange cause it, will probably not be convincing enough. Also, it would help if the doc has a research and clinical background and you include a copy of thier CV.

You need to respond to all correspondence from the VA and always remain courteous but strong in your dealings with them. Some people I know try to threaten and get nasty and this never works and sometimes increases the chance of slow processing or denial. If possible prepare your claim your self or be very invo;ved with the person who is helping you--such as a VSO --after all, it is your claim.

Finally, let me reccomend a website. This site has daily information on veterans affars and there is a guy who posts regularly about va claims issues. His name is Jim Strickland. He is a veterans advocate and you can find his e-mail address on the site. Hope this helps.


***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed
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Bocavet,
Is there any way to get a copy of the letter you referenced above? I represent a widow with the same issue and could really use that letter in my appeal, or at least the citations in the letter. Thanks.
Greg
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Greg: This is difficult. Since MDS is not on the presumptive list, it takes a physician who is both a clinician and a researcher to write such a letter. This could mean that a reference to a previous claim could cause that claim to be re-opened-----but maybe not. I will ask and if it is OK, I will see about either scanning the references and e-mailing them to you and/or redacting parts of the letter and and sending both. In any case, you would need to find a physician with the qualifications listed above and board certification in hematology to write their own letter. Sending this one will not be effective. You should also obtain the physicians CV and submit that. Beware that a letter from a physician without a well developed scientific rationale is not likely to help.
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I too am in the middle of an appeal attempting to have MDS listed as a result of Agent Orange. In my research today i happened to find two more cases settled VA appeal where the veterans MDS was recognized as resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. You can find those results at the Dept of Veterans Affairs web page and searching under recent appeals. Good luck.
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I was diagnosed with MDS in 2005. I also have had prostate cancer and was recently diagnosed with Diabetes type II. VA is currently processing the cancer but is stiffing me on the MDS.

My twin brother and I share gout, deafness and macular degeneration but the service connected problems are my own, The twin has tested negative for the diseases.
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I have a question about one of the posts on this subject. A "guest" posted an entry on 12/2/08, mentioning that he had found two recent appeals cases in which veterans won their appeals to recognize that MDS was the result of exposure to AO. He referred to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs web page, and said to search under "recent appeals". I attempted this, but found myself in the overwhelming world of our government. Does anyone know the names of these cases so that I may research my belief that MDS and AML are directly related to AO? My husband is going to die in a week or two from this condition, and I plan to file, and then appeal, for benefits. Any help on this subject woulf be greatly appreciated, Thanks!
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my husband glenn was diagnosed 10 days ago with mds. He was in vietnam and was heavily exposed to agent orange. He also has churg-strauss syndrome. He's currently totlly disabled, in a wheelchair, and needs around the clock care. We have a home health aide three days a week paid be medicaid. The VA has him at 10% service connected. obviously I'm trying to get this raised. They already t urned down our first agent orange claim for churg-strauss syndrome, so I refiled for mds. I'll take any and all help offered.
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I am past MDS and am currently in a second battle with AML (Acute myeloid leukemia). I have been in battle with the VA since February 2008. I have been turned down twice but I fight on. (DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!!! EVER!!!!!!!)
If you go to the VA website and look up case decisions you may find some more information
Be aware that because there are cases exactly the same as yours the VA will tell you these do not set precendence with regard to your case. Meaning they said yes to GI Joe but it does not effect your case.
Then also realize that they will cite precedence fron other cases saying what you have to prove. They can do what you can't!!!
Print out all the cases you can find and submit them with your VA9 form (disagreement with decision). Tell them you are not using them as precedence but the iformation in the cases as additional information to back up your case.
There is a long waiting period as I was told yesterday 1 to 3 YEARS!
Don't ever give up the fight. Get help from local service officers. Get help from organizations, DAV, VVA, VFW, AL etc.
Wait time will vary by location odds are ND, SD it should take less time than New York City.
If you're waiting too long email your Senators. Go to their web site and they will have a help section with a veterans section and ask for their help.
DON'T WAIT FOR THE VA!!!! KEEP ATER THEM FROM AS MANY DIRECTIONS AS POSSIBLE!!! AND DON'T EVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!! SURVIVORS INCLUDED!!!


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I am one of the few that have gotten a decision from the Board of Veterans Appeals which agrees my MDS was caused by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. I am more than happy to share any documentation that I have gathered in my years long battle to get this decision. My email is
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Hello guest - I don't see your email... we are in the same fight and would love any documentation that you can share.... Thank you
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Guest - I don't see your email adress.... any documentation would be extremely helpful.... thank you
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Interesting. My mother had trisomy 8 as well. She eventually developed AML and died. She had no exposure to AO and no contact with anyone who did. Her oncologist, who trained at Cleveland Clinic, said that several risk factors that have been identified including smoking, exposure to second hand smoke, exposure to benzene, and more. I am impressed that this doctor was able to eliminate all of the other risk factors that so many of us are exposed to and unequivocally state it was agent orange. I haven't ever seen anything about this but I will look it up as I am interested in the clinical evidence. thanks for the info!
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