Chaney High School graduate tells of fears for friends' safety
The singer's biopsy has been delayed because his doctor had to take a bus from Denver to New York.
By DIANE MAKAR MURPHY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
It was unusual for Art Canning to sleep through phone calls, but when he awoke Tuesday morning in New York City to find voice mail messages, he had no idea how unusual that morning would be.
Canning, 23, had prepared to move back to Youngstown. The Chaney High School graduate and Youngstown Connection member had few of his belongings still left in his apartment. His father, Fred Canning, former North Junior High School principal, had already picked them up.
After spending the night at a farewell celebration thrown by his Goldman Sachs co-workers, Canning slept in and expected to spend the day uneventfully.
Wednesday, he would undergo a biopsy for the cancer he has fought for more than a year. Thursday, he would travel home to live and begin a new, hopefully successful, chemotherapy regimen.
Because his move was imminent, he no longer worked at Goldman Sachs and this Tuesday morning wouldn't be traveling to its building, & quot;about two blocks -- a seven-minute walk & quot; from the World Trade Center.
& quot;When I tried to get my voice mail, the line was busy, which was unusual, & quot; Canning related in a phone call Wednesday night. & quot;I turned on the shower, and then the television. Mine had already gone back to Youngstown, so I had my roommate's -- a small TV set with an antenna.
& quot;I can't explain what I felt seeing it on TV. I went up on the roof to see what was going on. I live three miles from the Trade Center, & quot; he said.
& quot;I couldn't see anything but smoke. Ash started to fall on me, and I had to go back in because I was choking. The smell of burnt plastic and metal permeated the air. It was unreal. It was worse than anything you can imagine. & quot;
What he did next: Unable to get a line out on his cell phone, Canning ran from his apartment building and tried to find a pay phone to call his family. As he did, he e-mailed friends with his palm pilot. & quot;Are you OK? Are you OK? & quot; he repeatedly asked in his messages.
& quot;Different roommates came in, one by one, & quot; he said of his four friends. The day of the terrorist attack, he posted this message on his Web site, www.artcanning.com: & quot;Three of my four roommates are accounted for. & quot;
& quot;I have lots of friends who are nurses, and they've told me they have nothing to do. That tells me two things, & quot; Canning said in the telephone interview. & quot;Either a lot of people got out safely, or they died. There aren't a lot of injured. & quot;
Canning's biopsy will be performed Tuesday; it was delayed because his doctor had to take a bus to New York after being grounded in Denver by the Federal Aviation Administration's order clear American air space of all commercial aircraft.
Despite undergoing a stem cell transplant, Canning is not in remission from Hodgkin's disease, which affects the lymph nodes. He has extreme pain in his leg.
& quot;The question is how bad is [the cancer] coming back, not whether it is coming back, & quot; he said.