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Donna Summer

9/11 Gave Me Cancer

5/18/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Donna Summer was convinced -- inhaling toxic air after 9/11 gave her the lung cancer that eventually killed her ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the singer tell TMZ what we were hearing this morning -- that Donna was in New York City during 9/11, living at an apartment near Ground Zero.

Donna became almost paranoid about breathing the air, which was heavy with a rancid odor. 

In the months and years following 9/11, Donna's feelings intensified.  One source tells us when he was around Donna, she would constantly spray some sort of disinfectant in the air.  Deney Terrio, the host of "Dance Fever," tells us ... when he was around Donna post 9/11, she would hang silk sheets in her dressing room to prevent dust from coming in.

And one source says ... Donna, who was a fervent practicing Christian, believed 9/11 was an attack on Christianity and in some metaphysical way Christians like her were targets.  She somehow felt that her illness was a byproduct of the attack.

And, we're told, after Donna was diagnosed with lung cancer, several people told her that cigarette smoke may have been the culprit -- she was a smoker, and she also frequented clubs where people smoked.  But Donna simply didn't buy it.


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Donna Summer may be right about her theory of 9/11 giving her Cancer. Remember the comic guy Andy Kaufman who was not a smoker, but developed Lung Cancer and died like in weeks after he was diagnosed? He used to do a lot of tanning of himself when he got out to CA, and one day he found a red boil on his neck, it got bigger and he even put it in his act. Well, that was Melanoma, and it seeped into his neck and traveled to his lung and gave him Lung Cancer, which he died of. Cancer has to have an "in" or a bad gene and he was Jewish and many Jewish families carry a deadly cancer gene that if rattled, will produce cancer!

867 days ago


When it first happened, why could she just move away to the outskirts. She certainly had the money, it would have been simple. I guess at the time she didn't think about it until it was sort of too late and the smell went away. Fear is the mind killer too, she also did smoke and was around smoking joints and I'm sure she did a bit of damage to her lungs from singing wrong for many years, although she had a great voice and good songs then, she didn't have the training, except at church. It came from her soul, so she was raw!

867 days ago


I imagine it all is combined to contribute to her illness. If she smoked, and sang in clubs where there was a lot of smoke as well. Her lungs were
more than likely already in a weakened condition. The 9/11 occurrance was probably the final straw for her health.

867 days ago


I have known Donna Summer for nearly 2 decades. She most definitely NOT a smoker. She quit smoking around 1979, and did not "hang out" in clubs. When she performed, audiences were asked NOT to smoke during her concerts. People die of lung cancer without ever having smoked a cigarette in their lives, so these presumptions (including Donna's) are simply that - presumptions. May she rest in peace.

867 days ago


Donna Summer was killed by the poisonous gas emanated from the fumes of the 911, for sure. Being a smoker does not make you die of cancer. Million of smokers did not die of cancer. Besides Donna was mature enough to tell the cause of her illness. Right from onset she claimed the gas as the cause of her diagnosis.

867 days ago


If she felt badly since then, she had the right to say it.
God bless you, Donna.

867 days ago


If she felt badly since then, she had the right to say it.
God bless you, Donna.

867 days ago


The official statement :

"On behalf of the Sudano Family, various reports currently surfacing about the cause of Ms. Summer's death are not accurate. Although she lost her battle to lung cancer at the age of 63, it was not related to smoking. Ms. Summer was a non-smoker. Obviously, numerous factors can be attributed to the cause of cancer in general, but any details regarding the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Ms. Summer's case remain between her family and team of doctors."

867 days ago

Miz Val    

Ms Summer was always a class act ! I met her in the 70's.She was standing on killer heels and wearing a costume from her last song at her sold out 3 day concert.. She was signing autographs for each person that waited to see her. I will never forget how kind and patient she was. She worked hard for the money.She will be missed .

867 days ago


I agree with her. Frankly, I actually was in the neighborhood after 9/11 and inhaled the particls. Concrete, glass, steel, aluminum, asbestos, aviation fuel, all atomized. I got a extremely bad cough from inhaling that crap that continues to this day from 9/11. there are days when I can not breathe. I also got a brain tumor two years afterwards. I am NOT a smoker, and I am healthy otherwise. there are thousands who were in the WTC area who will die prematurely. I am happy she went public with her thoughts. You have no idea how extremely toxic the air was in Lower Manhattan for months after 9/11, unless you were physically there. The fine grit and fumes were everywhere. You were swimming in it. I mean that.

867 days ago


According to her family, Donna Summers did not smoke. She was a non-smoker. So, cigarette smoking had nothing to do with her death. More paparazzi tabloid false statements.

867 days ago


I wish I was so rich that years of research could be dismissed with the statement that I didn't buy it. Would it work if I said I was Christian?

867 days ago


Per MSN, Her publicist through spokesperson Brian Edwards has made a statement saying Donna was NOT a smoker. She did not smoke. It was more likely the smokey clubs she sang in. Still sad either way.

867 days ago


I lived and worked 4 blocks from Ground Zero, (my apartment got a dose of the dust which I cleaned myself) stayed there until 2006 and now only live about 15 blocks north. I was a smoker. I quit a number of years ago. Yes. The air was horrible here for a long time, but whether or not someone told you it was ok... if you were breathing it you knew better. We all made the choice to stay. I'm sorry that she passed away so young, but at least from this article, she did sound a bit delusional and paranoid. I am still alive, but perhaps that's because I'm an atheist.... so maybe she was right and it was all an attack on christians. (and yes, I an being facetious).

867 days ago


CNN says she didn't smoke and this is not an accurate story.

867 days ago
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