LI Blood Drive Honors 9/11 Cancer Victim Cop, 'Dedicated Family Man'

FARMINGVILLE, NY — New York Police Department Lt. William Wanser, a 9/11 first responder who died from pancreatic cancer related to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, was honored with a blood drive in his memory on Friday.

Wanser, a veteran officer with 20 years on the force, was assigned to Ground Zero in 2001 at “the pile” for around two months, sifting through the rubble, something he volunteered for.

Click Here:

The 36-year Farmingville resident was a consistent blood and plasma donor, understanding the importance of giving back to the community.

Find out what's happening in Sachemwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

When he was dying in the hospital, he received numerous blood donations as nurses desperately tried to keep him alive.

The amount of bags that he received left an impression on his family, bringing it close to home that there were other patients who needed blood donations as well, his wife Susyn said.

Find out what's happening in Sachemwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

After his death in 2019, his family decided the best way to honor his memory would be through hosting blood drives and donating life-saving blood regularly, according to Susyn.

She described Wanser as “a wonderful man” who loved anything Disney and had a special place in his heart for the character of Mickey Mouse.

The couple were married for 36 years and share two daughters.

“He was a dedicated family man,” she said. “He loved us.”

Last year, the New York Blood Center held the first annual blood drive in his honor at the Farmingville Fire Department, collecting around 111 blood donations and saving 333 lives.

Susyn expects there will be more in the future and that he would be happy to know it.

“Definitely,” she said.

The blood drive will run from 1 to 7 p.m. at the fire department’s headquarters on Horseblock Road.

To make an appointment at this blood drive, donors can call 1-800-933-2566 or click here.


Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month.

The Food and Drug Administration recently lifted eligibility restrictions for people who lived in Europe during certain periods of time. To view current eligibility guidelines, click here or call 800-688-0900.

It only takes an hour to donate, and a single donation can save multiple lives as roughly one in seven hospital admissions require a blood transfusion. Those in need include cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many others.

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.