CHICAGO — Residents gathered Wednesday evening for a meeting to continue the discussion about the number of cancer cases in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood.
Residents said several children living within a few blocks of each other have been diagnosed with cancer and they want to know why.
One of the organizers of Wednesday’s meeting was Tricia Krause, who was instrumental in exposing the contaminated water in suburban Crestwood. She shared her own family’s painful story.
A recent Illinois Department of Public Health report did not identify a pediatric cancer cluster in Mount Greenwood and the surrounding areas but raised other questions about the occurrence of certain types of cancer.
The University of Chicago launched a comprehensive study and the organizers of the meeting said they want more testing and funding for infrastructure changes.
“It’s not a coincidence that there are four kids who have died within two years. That’s a high number and the state knows they knew about it,” Krause said.
Another resident, Janessa Cannon, said people want to find out where it’s coming from.
Residents said they’ll continue to get the word out and keep the pressure on officials.
Mount Greenwood resident Ed Beazly, who’s 12-year-old daughter Emily died of cancer in 2015, provided this statement to WGN:
“The organizers of this event exploited our children for the sole purpose of getting media to show. I saw their press release, and it contained completely false information. Simple fact checking with Google would show the cancers of our four children are not related. In fact, it would show that in some cases the cancer has never been linked to the environment. I can assure you that my daughter’s cancer did not come from being raised in Mount Greenwood. I have no regrets raising my family here, and would do so again. Over the years, I have tested my water twice and my soil once. Everything was fine. The Department of Health solidified what I already knew. Childhood cancer has been on the rise nationwide, and it’s scary. But putting out ‘fake news’ and exploiting our childrens circumstances does not help ease people’s fears. It does the opposite.”