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Fighting for Answers in the Clyde Cancer Cluster

June 15, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
A documentary about the Clyde cancer cluster has a screening close to home Thursday night, as a filmmaker and a family keep fighting for answers. Warren and Wendy Brown carry constant reminders of their daughter, Alexa. Alexa is one of dozens of children in Clyde who developed cancer.

"The most recent case is only a month old in Clyde," Warren told 13abc.

By the time his daughter, Alexa, was 11, the cancer took her life. Now, her story, along with the story of two other families, is captured on film in the documentary "fighting for answers."

"I probably could watch it 5 times in a row," said Alexa's mother, Wendy," and I'd still cry each time."

The Browns sat in on a free screening at the Fremont branch of the Birchard Public Library Thursday night. Filmmaker Adan Garcia, who's from Fremont, flew in from his home in New Mexico for the viewing. He's been taking his film to festivals across the country to shed light on the Clyde cancer cluster.

"This isn't going away just 'cause you want to close the book on this," said Garcia. "We're not closing the book on this.

"This is my way of getting exposure that way. you know, taking it to Kentucky, taking it to Utah, taking it to New Mexico, just to have everyone all over the country know what's going on in little old Clyde, Ohio."

What's going on is: the cancer there is developing in an unusually high number of children. Last month, the Ohio Department of Health determined something has occurred, but investigators can not find a cause. According to the browns, the state cannot close the investigation, only the local county health department can.

"I've got assurances from the director of health here in Sandusky County, this case is not closed," said Warren Brown. He added his family won't rest until they get answers which may provide closure and prevent more cases of cancer.

The Browns have been to Washington, D.C. three times since Alexa died. They're planning to go back in September. Their goal is to get more federal dollars directed to childhood cancer research all over the country.

Adan Garcia is a former employee of 13abc. You can email him to purchase a copy of the documentary at: ClydeCancerCluster@gmail.com.