Victims

Here are some of the human faces behind the statistics:

One out of three American children suffers from a chronic illness.

Sheila Holt-0rsted comes from one of the few African-American families in Dickson, TN. Her family has long owned and worked farmland only 500 feet away from the county landfill. Sheila sees what happened to her family and herself as a ‘poster child’ case of environmental injustice. She found evidence indicating that Tennessee environmental and water officials had concerns as early as 1988 about the possibility of TCE appearing in the Holt's well water but left their water untested for nine years while TCE problems in the wells of white families were tended to.

Sheila, 45, a physical trainer, had breast cancer and continues to suffer skin rashes. Her father died of cancer at 67; her mother has breast cancer. Their cows died en masse, their chickens were born with three legs. Sheila has had cervical polyps; her sister has had colon polyps. Her aunt next door and three of her cousins have had cancer. Her aunt across the street has had chemotherapy for a bone disease. Her uncle died of Hodgkin's disease. Her daughter, 12-year-old Jasmine, has a speech defect.