When my daughter Grace Ellen was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, at age four, I thought that our family had the worst, most devastating luck. But after spending months in the hospital with her, we learned that she was one of over 50 children who may have been poisoned by one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in America.
Sign to demand that California's EPA and the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) enforce the AOC cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Lab and prevent any more children from getting cancer.
Grace Ellen’s form of cancer was incredibly aggressive. At age four she was put on several clinical trials, had ten times the normal amount of chemotherapy, and spent two years fighting her cancer. A year and a half later her cancer came back and she underwent a bone marrow transplant. She was unable to walk or eat or drink, and had to fight for her life in the hospital isolation floor. Her childhood was stolen from her, and it haunts me to know her cancer might have been avoidable.
She, like the other 50 children, grew up within 20 miles the Santa Susana Field Lab, land which was developed in the 1940s to conduct nuclear research. In 1959 an uncontained partial meltdown of a sodium reactor caused such a devastating radiation leak that many consider it to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history – and it was completely covered up for years.
Our community has up to 60% higher cancer rates, 20% higher invasive breast cancer rates, we have the reports to prove it. It is the Department of Toxic Substance Control’s job to clean up this mess. They know our children are sick and dying, but they aren’t taking any meaningful action against those who own the land – Boeing, NASA and the DOE.
The Woolsey Fire, which began on Santa Susana Field Lab, may have exposed millions of people in Southern California to the chemical and radioactive waste from the site, via ash and smoke. It proved once again that we will not be safe until the site is 100% cleaned up.
I will protect my children even if I have to tear down mountains with my bare hands – and I am one of many parents fighting for our kids.
To win this, we need DTSC and CalEPA, with the support of California's elected officials, to enforce the AOC cleanup once and for all. Will you join us?
P.S. You can watch a documentary about our efforts to protect our kids: In the Dark of the Valley