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Old Fri Jul 25, 2014, 10:59 PM
evaughan57 evaughan57 is offline
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Location: CHAMPAIGN, IL
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Question Agent Orange, MDS and Chronic Kidney disease

I retired from a 22 year career in the US Navy nuclear submarine power program in 1979 and once again from a second career at a civilian nuclear power plant in Illinois.

I am also a new member to this forum having discovered it when looking for info on the medical problems I have that relate to a VA disability claim. I am having lots of problems convincing the VA that several of these should be judged as service-related due to my exposure to Agent Orange (AO).

I am a partially disabled Vietnam veteran and have service-related disabilities from spinal problems and Diabetes Mellitus, Type II that is presumptively caused by my exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with the form of MDS that is Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). Also about one year later, I was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which can be attributed to the service-related diabetes.

My initial submission to the VA for a disability for my leukemia was turned down by the VA after their evaluation for my exposure to ionizing radiation while in the nuclear submarine program without any consideration being devoted to my service in-country in Vietnam.

The VA has 15 or so diseases for which a presumptive service-connected disability should be automatically granted. Diabetes Mellitus,Type II is one of these. To get my disability granted for this, I had to fight the VA and appeal even though my initial submission met all VA criteria for AO as a presumptive cause.

The CMML I have is a VERY rare form of leukemia as most of you know. VA criteria for any presumptively caused diseases are based on a 800+ page report issued every 2 years by The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies that is titled “VETERANS AND AGENT ORANGE”. The basis used to add a disease to the listing of presumptive causes of disabilities is statistical data that MUST show a correlation between a disease and AO and MUST have a sufficiently high correlation factor to support the presumption. With the very low population of people who served in Vietnam who were presumptively exposed to AO, there are insufficient numbers of cases of MDS and CMML to allow the IOM to draw any statistical conclusion either for or against its inclusion in the list of disabilities caused by AO. CMML itself is so rare that it is not even mentioned in the “BOOK”.

On July 10 of this year I submitted my appeal to the VA for ma disabilities caused by CMML and CKD. It weighed less than 1/2 ounce less than 3 pounds and is no way nearly as polished or complete as I would desire because the VA allowed me a total of 30 days to produce if from the date of their notice to me. I requested an extension in the due date but, like ALL of my correspondence with the VA Chicago Regional Office, my letter remains unanswered. Because of my request and the VA lack of response, I am continuing to try to strengthen my case before any decision is reached by the VA because I believe that, if I can prevail, I will help others who have some form of MDS in having their disease that was caused by factors incurred while serving our country recognized and compensated appropriately.

RIGHT NOW I AM LOOKING FOR HELP FROM MEMBERS OF THIS FORUM.

I have read several posts made by BOB MACFARLANE of Southwest Ranches, FL and would appreciate it if someone could get him to contact me through this forum or by email at evaughan57@comcast.net. Several of his posts have info that I think might help me tremendously.

By the way, for a retired service person with a VA disability like the 40% I have, all disability payments received are deducted from their retired pay.
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Old Sat Dec 3, 2016, 07:52 PM
bobbyq bobbyq is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: PHOENIX AZ
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Veteran Service Officer BobbyQ

Hey the VA Board of Veteran Appeals is the greatest place to find answers for your ailments. Had a veteran denied for Chronic Kidney Disease A/O related and I found a case check it out
Citation Nr. 1639286 Decision Date 09/30/16
Docket No. 14-28 567
or type on the top where it want to know what medical you ate looking for put
Chronic Kidney Disease A/O.
They gave the veteran diabetes but denied the Chronic Kidney Disease A/O, does that make sense so I sent it back and asked for a Clear Unmistakable Error (CUE) and told them to look at it again. Idiots.
me know if this helps.
PS I was born in Bernalillio yay
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Old Sat Dec 3, 2016, 08:03 PM
bailie bailie is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: McMinnville,OR
Posts: 825
I was recognized by the VA only after I could put Vietnam, agent orange, stem cell transplant and leukemia in the same sentence. It took one 20 minute appointment (my only contact with the VA) to have me classified as 100 percent disabled. I wasn't asking for any compensation at the time.
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age 70, dx RAEB-2 on 11-26-2013 w/11% blasts. 8 cycles Vidaza 3w/Revlimid. SCT 8/15/2014, relapsed@Day+210 (AML). Now(SCT-Day+1005). Prepping w/ 10 days Dacogen for DLI on 6/9/2017.
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