The Alabama Department of Public Health has initiated a “pilot investigation of Baldwin County cancer cases” to figure out whether an unusually high number of people in the county are suffering from several rare cancers and neurological diseases.
This really is the story of one woman’s efforts, Lesley Pacey of Point Clear, to understand why her child has cancer.
The Mobile Press Register rpoerts
After her 4-year-old daughter’s diagnosis in 2004, Lesley Pacey, compiled a list of dozens of people that she knew of with leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, brain cancer, ALS and muscular dystrophy. Several of the children on the list were playmates of her daughter’s.
She first asked state health officials for help in 2005, but said little happened at the time, although a town meeting was held. During that meeting, state toxicologist Neil Sass said he would conduct an investigation, including issuing questionnaires to the families involved. But Pacey and others at the 2005 meeting said there was no follow-up and no questionnaire.
“The state kind of dropped it after the meeting. They quit calling me back,” Pacey said Wednesday.
Since then, Pacey, who serves as a Press-Register correspondent, has discovered several dozen additional cases of the various illnesses, including a large number affecting children from 18 months old to about 10. Pacey’s list includes 47 people with rare cancers, and 40 people with ALS, all living between Satsuma and Weeks Bay.