Concern Grows Over Suspected Mount Greenwood Cancer Clusters - NBC Chicago

Concern Grows Over Suspected Mount Greenwood Cancer Clusters

The University of Chicago is working on a comprehensive cancer study throughout the area.

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    Concern Grows Over Suspected Mount Greenwood Cancer Clusters

    A meeting in Mount Greenwood Wednesday night saw residents expressing concerns after a spike in pediatric cancer cases. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018)

    A meeting in Mount Greenwood Wednesday night saw residents expressing concerns after a spike in pediatric cancer cases.

    Families listened as Tricia Krause explained how cancer took her 19-year-old daughter’s life, how she and her son are cancer survivors and how another daughter had a brain tumor taken out at just 5 years old. Krause lived in Crestwood and was called in by a concerned Mount Greenwood mom who fears a cancer surge in their nearby community.

    "It appears that there’s a lead problem," Krause said.

    Some say the water should be tested for lead contamination.

    "We have a little cancer cluster," neighbor and mother Janessa Cannon said. "(It's) slowly growing want (and we want to) get to the bottom of it."

    Together they created this map of more than a dozen children diagnosed with cancer or a rare brain tumor in the Mount Greenwood community. Four lived within in few blocks of each other, went to the same elementary school, and died between 2015 and 2017.

    "It is a cluster not a coincidence," Krause reiterated.

    They want to make sure the state helps. State Sen. Bill Cunningham tells us it’s been a concern for years.

    "We went to the Illinois Department of Public Health, we asked them to do an audit," Cunningham said. "Based on their review they could not identify an unusual spike to pediatric cancers in our community."

    Eight years ago Denise Vandermey’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Now 10, she’s out of the woods, but Vandermey doesn't want this to happen to others.

    "Why is this such a problem," she asked.

    The University of Chicago is working on a comprehensive cancer study throughout the area.

    Results are not expected for several months on wehter environmental cause an increase in cancers.

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