COCOA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Cancer in the water? Another city’s water is found to be laced with dangerous chemicals.
These numbers are popping off the charts, and now one woman believes these chemicals may have contributed to four people in her family becoming diagnosed with cancer.
Stel Baily says she’s won the battle against cancer, but is now fighting the war against cancer-causing chemicals. This used to be Stel Bailey’s reality. A cancer survivor, Bailey is one of five in her family who, in the same year, were all diagnosed with cancer.
“Every doctor that I talked to, the first thing that they said was where did you grow up?” said Bailey, who lives in Cocoa Beach.
In January 2013, her dog died of cancer. A month later, her uncle died of cancer. A month after that, her brother was diagnosed with cancer, then her and then her father.
“There’s only supposed to be two out of 100,000 people with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And guess what, my brother and I sat next to each other getting administered chemotherapy.”
Her father is also suffering from a rare form of cancer. That’s when she started asking questions.
“You watch your brother go through the cancer and then to be told you have the same exact cancer is mind-blowing.”
She knew something was wrong when she was having trouble breathing. First she was diagnosed with anxiety, then asthma, then bronchitis.
Finally, “the sixth doctor said let’s get you a CT scan and they saw my entire left side region of my body was full of tumors.”
The biggest tumor was 13 centimeters sitting in her chest. She and her brother are both now in remission, while her father continues the fight. Bailey is now fighting for him, her family and the others who are now coming forward with rare forms of cancer across Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach.
“M family’s story, I want it to be looked at as a way of uniting everybody and making a change,” said Bailey.
Bailey is organizing a community meeting at the Satellite Beach Civic Center Sunday, August 5th at 2 p.m. Officials from the state health department are expected to be there.
On Friday, Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight says Brevard Schools will be testing drinking water at all barrier island schools.
Patrick Air Force Base, which saw the highest levels of the cancer-causing chemicals in its water, is doing its own investigation.