- Terry and Karens' Trip to Arizona
We (Terry and Karen) had the honor of being invited to attend a Childhood Leukemia Cluster Advocates Conference Sept. 17-19, 2004 in Tuscon and Sierra Visa, Arizona.
The purpose of the conference was to raise awareness of the rising incidence of childhood Leukemia and other cancers and chronic illnesses. It was organized by Families Against Cancer and Toxins (FACT). Members of FACT organized after an unusually high number of Sierra Visa children fell victim to childhood Leukemia. They are dedicated to finding the cause of their cancer cluster and preventing future cases.
Among the groups in attendance were family advocates from Fallon, Nevada where since 1999 sixteen children have been diagnosed with Leukemia and 3 have died. A film was shown depicting these brave children and their courageous fight against this disease. Both of these communities are adjacent to military bases and the families of these sick children can't help but wonder if there is a connection. So far a connection has not been found for the cause of the clusters but Dr. Mark Willten from the University of Arizona is doing research to determine if there is a connection to any toxins in the environment and the childhood cancers.
Because of the adjacent military bases and the possible connections, we were asked to speak about the Camp Lejeune contamination and how we have or have not received cooperation from those responsible. It was a wonderful opportunity to tell the Camp Lejeune story. It also made us feel good to be a part of a group who desires to create a National Coalition of Cluster Advocates. Through meetings like this we can help spread the cause and mission of "The Stand" and at the same time encourage and help others in similar situations. It is so important to ban together to protect our families, towns and environment.
We are thankful to Terry Nordbrock for her invitation and hospility. We are also grateful to Military Toxics Project for helping make this trip possible. A special thanks to the families of FACT for their support and for letting us speak to the people of Sierra Visa and Tuscon Arizona.