Some Chicago residents worry child cancer cases are linked

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Mount Greenwood residents are upset about a cancer scare, worried the cases are connected.

Four kids have died in two years and they all went to the same school.

“I would not like to see his happen to any other kids,” said Denise Vandermey.

Vandermey's daughter is now almost ten years old and healthy, but when she was only a toddler she became very ill.

“Private practitioners escorted us into a private room and did inform us that she was diagnosed with leukemia,” Vandermey said.

Her story is similar to others in Mount Greenwood where residents met Wednesday to talk about their cancer concerns.

“I think cancer could be environmental related,” said Maryellen Dawson. “I'm not quite sure what's going on, so this should make us aware.”

The organizer of the meeting found many cases in a small area.

In just two years, four kids died from different types of cancer. They attended the same school and lived in the same area near Mount Greenwood Elementary.

Advocate Tricia Krause says she fears the cases are connected and it may be environmental. She's hoping that by raising awareness, more research will be done.

"When the state gets involved and the action starts turning and getting things implemented of new systems and town meetings and lawyers, then the truth will be known,” Krause said.

State Senator Bill Cunningham is on board with the residents meeting.

“We have to be careful that we are not alarmists about it, but think it's good that the community gets together and talks about it,” Cunningham said.

He says there is no current evidence connecting the cases and the university of Chicago is conducting a health study in the area and looking for volunteers.

“They will research their health histories, and ask them about their habits and about whether or not thieve had cancers in their families,” Cunningham said.

A state health investigation found no evidence of a cancer cluster in Mount Greenwood. There are no elevated levels of child cancer, but there are elevated rates of lung, breast and prostate cancer. But as to why, there is still no answer.