Day 434


For the second year in a row, Michael’s mama is treating us to a few nights at the beach to kick off the boys’ Spring Break. This time we’re able to venture a little farther from home, to beautiful Captiva. I feel so grateful. We really need this time in the presence of saltwater and happy children.

I learned of two more cases of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in my community today. Each one made me feel like I’d been punched in the stomach. I was discussing this with another mother whose daughter shares Benji’s diagnosis. We were calculating the number of new ALL diagnoses in the last year and a half, and came up with six in our county alone (that we know of).

It is highly possible that this only seems disproportionate because of the world we live in. Social media makes connections of people with common ground almost inevitable. When Benjamin was first diagnosed, people came out of the woodwork to introduce me to others they knew who might shed light on things for us.

Still, the number seems high. I’d like to see some demographics. I’m sure this is an easy thing to obtain from the Children’s Oncology Group. I’ll also ask our team on Tuesday at Benji’s appointment if they’ve noticed an unusual spike from our area. I’m not trying to go all Erin Brokovich over here; my friend just made me think about things in a new way, and I’m curious. I’ll never stop asking why.

For now, I’m ready to unplug, unwind, and breathe some salty air. We’re here.

2 thoughts on “Day 434

  1. Ah, beach, enjoy. Spring break!

    When we were house shopping in 2012 in Sarasota we found a beautiful home on an acre out Proctor Rd and imagined gardening there…. and our kids running in the woods behind it. The ‘woods behind’ are a old land fill, and a super fund site. When looking at info on the house, we found online shocking results from soil tests on that specific property showing the soil was highly contaminated. And nearby in Foxfire, at another house we were looking at and dreaming of kids playing in the creek behind the house, we learned there is a known cancer cluster of residents and pets from the water that leaches into their neighborhood from the super fund site dump. I nearly bought houses on toxic dumps, with toxic water running in the yard, right in Sarasota.

    For that matter, Tuttle Elementary school is BUILT on a toxic dump.

    So yeah, are we experiencing some environmental risks contributing to cancer in our town? You betcha. Is there a spike in cancer rates over time, yes indeed.

    Erin Brokovich? I think any ‘cancer mom’ eventually would face the facts, not just the suspicions, that the way we treat our earth has very close to home, close to our hearts repercussions.
    11 superfund site in Sarasota (including Tuttle Elementary school, brookside middle):
    “Superfund: A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. NPL Superfund: The National Priorities List is a list of the most hazardous waste sites that have been identified by Superfund/ CERCLIS where long-term remedial response actions can only be conducted.”
    “Even as the cure rate continues to improve, the incidence of childhood cancer has been steadily increasing over the last few decades, from about 13 children per 100,000 in 1975 to over 17 children per 100,000 in 2010.”
    Foxfire Neighborhood has this site dedicated to info on the toxic landscape –

    Former Sugarbowl Landfill on Proctor road:
    ““Based on the findings of this SI, the site meets EPA’s criteria for further CERCLA assessment. The contamination detected at the site may also represent a violation of Chapter 376 and/or Chapter 403, Florida Statutes. The FPS recommends that FDEP’s Southwest District identify the person(s) responsible for site rehabilitation (PRSR) for the purpose of implementing corrective action at the site in accordance with Rule 62-780 of the Florida Administrative Code. Furthermore, if the PRSR(s) fails/fail to implement necessary corrective action in a timely manner, it is also recommended that EPA consider initiating an Expanded Site Investigation.”

    Read the full report here:

    1. But I raised a false alarm, I noticed for the first time Brookside on the list but the report on Brookside from 1999 says
      \”Based on the available i~formation and analytical data evaluated, ATSDR concluded that no
      public health hazard exists from organochlorine pesticides detected in the subsurface soil and
      groundwater samples collected at the Brookside School site. This finding is not unexpected
      since the organochlorine pesticides analyzed are immobile or only slightly mobile in soil making
      the potential for migration through the subsurface soils low. The school property is located
      above grade to the neighboring apartment complex property, making the potential for surface
      water runoff of the organochlorine pesticides unlikely. In addition, no public health hazard exists from the levels of organochlorine pesticides detected in the surface soil samples collected from the apartment complex and the school property.\”…/brooksideschool081099.pdf

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