SANDUSKY COUNTY (WTOL) - Members of the Ohio State Health Department joined local officials for an announcement many Sandusky County families have been waiting years to hear.
"This appears to be the high-risk area, and we want to see what might have happened historically that may have impacted on this population," said Robert Indian with the Ohio State Health Department.
The state studied things like the population, the area, the cancer itself and its statistical significance. Their findings show something caused this cancer cluster, but that something is still unknown. "We may never find the cause," Indian said. "The vast majority of childhood cancer does not have any known causes or risk factors."
One victim you may remember is Alexa Brown. "We're still treading water when it comes to Alexa," her father said.
Alexa's dad, Warren, says he's glad to know the state is on the right track to possibly finding a cause, but this information doesn't change much for his family. "To be brutally honest, we gain nothing. Alexa is still ill. She leaves Sunday for another clinical trial because she's reoccurred now for the second time. So personally, we're exactly where we were a year ago."
But Brown says there is some satisfaction gained by this new information. "I'm glad that what we've all thought all along has been proven to be true." That being something other than random chance caused this cancer cluster. Most importantly to Brown, it caused his daughter Alexa to now be wheelchair bound. "We haven't won. We haven't. We just need a miracle in Alexa's life."
State health officials say they do not believe there is a threat remaining for residents in affected areas. They believe whatever caused the cancer cluster is transient.
Because of that, they'll have to look at historical data now to try to pinpoint a cause, but like they said, they may never find one.