Woman takes action in Clyde cancer cluster study

Reported by Jonathan Walsh -

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

CLYDE, OH (WTOL) - A Clyde woman decides to take action after seeing WTOL's investigation into the Clyde cancer cluster study. Our investigation touched a nerve after we learned the Ohio EPA has not done any physical testing since coming onboard a childhood cancer study almost a year ago. The study focuses on 20 patients in Clyde, Green Springs, and Green Creek Township.

Christine Bell was so upset she came down to the public library in Clyde. She was outside and was talking to people about getting motivated. She talked about coming together to put pressure on government agencies so the testing would be done. But, she claims she was threatened for saying that.

Bell says she wasn't yelling or causing a disturbance, but says someone claiming to be from the mayor's office and the librarian told her she had to move from the front of the building to a sidewalk near the street.

Bell says the commands didn't stop there. "I couldn't talk to anyone going in or out of the library from there either or they were going to call the police." She told them, "A year from now if we have 30 cases you guys remember I was here trying to do something."

Clyde City Manager Daniel Weaver says he never heard about the confrontation and doubts the man was really from the mayor's office.

"No one from the city of Clyde would ever say that, that I could imagine."

Weaver says he's friends with the Hisey family, who has two children in the study and he even attended a recent fundraiser for their son tanner.

Bell's daughter says she was motivated by our story and is encouraging people to attend these public meetings in Green Springs and Clyde.

"Stand up and demand that something be done," says Margaret Douglas-Garcia.

She's drawn up petitions supporting more action by government agencies, because she fears for her children, grandchildren and the families.

"I feel really bad this is happening to these people and it could happen to me and my family tomorrow."

An EPA spokesperson says the agency is committed to testing, but the process is very complex and it has to do its homework.

Meanwhile, some are just worried about their home. "We've got to do something to make it what it was. A pretty little town."

Count on News 11 to continue to follow this story. Jonathan Walsh and WTOL wants to hear from your. Please contact us if you have any information.

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Here are some viewers comments about Jonathan Walsh's story.

Joanne writes: "That many cases...two in one family? That sickens me as to what isn't being done."

Colby says: "I watched the story...and I am shocked that the EPA is not taking those simple steps to try to discover where this outbreak is coming from."

And this from chuck: "I was horrified to hear that the EPA has known about this problem and has yet to conduct any tests ... Sure looks like the EPA has let itself become so big, with so many departments, that it can no longer do the job."