Speaking my Truth
Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 01/10/2008
The continued testing of nuclear weapons is just another one in a long list of things that we should all be very concerned about [see Radioactive Weapons Testing in California in this month’s PCM]. Our world’s leaders have seemingly lost their minds in regard to what is SAFE for all of creation vs. what is a death sentence. Now that the global warming issue has garnered some much needed attention, we have another whole wing of folks ready to force us all into thinking that NUCLEAR is the “only option.” Really? Sure about that?
I have not been feeling well at all the past 3 months and I apologize to many of you for not having responded to, called back or jumped onto some issues that I really wanted to be involved with. Life has had some other things for me to deal with lately….
This topic is something that I rarely go into much personal depth on but perhaps it is time that I do so. So many of you sweet friends have sent me good prayers and best wishes for me to “feel better” which I say THANK YOU for and am blessed each time I get a sweet message from you saying such things. Bless you! But sadly, “getting better” is perhaps not in the cards for me now. I have outlived what the medical professionals said that I would for 19 years… I hope I can manage a few more. But today I am finally speaking out on something that I have never written about…. it is time I think.
Below is a story out of California and it makes one think, “Oh no, this can’t be happening. The government would never allow the people of that large a region to be exposed to such things.”
Wrong answer friends. And here today, I am sharing some personal information that I rarely discuss. I am living with an extremely RARE combination of auto-immune illnesses…so rare to have 5 of these diseases hit you all at once, that there were only two top specialists at John Hopkins and Baylor University to have ever seen anything like my messed up immune system. There have been so many opinions as to how I would end up in this situation but only in the last decade has some alarming “new” information begun to surface.
I was born and lived my first 20 years of life in Denver Colorado. I lived down wind and water supply from Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapon plant. For decades, the “officials” told all the area residents that there was absolutely nothing to be worried about with the plant being right there. I am going to include some links here so that you can read what the REAL truth is, and was, about living there.
When I was just 7 years old, I became very sick. My thyroid gland quit functioning after that time period. I suffered damage to my eyes and sense of balance….my joints swelled, I had “odd” things that no one could explain. Gee, now that the real facts are revealed about the uranium wastes and the actual leaks that they had at Rocky Flats (of course, none of them were told to the public!) maybe things with my health make more sense? Maybe…
My mother was a public health nurse and she found some rare cancers popping up in the rural areas near Rocky Flats. Some of her patients were ranchers and they reported having two-headed calves being born and other weird things happening in the animal populations. My mother had 5 patients, all in one area, with a rare type of brain cancer. NOT a normal situation.
My mother went to the Director of the Health Department, Dr. Carl Johnson and told him of her findings. He believed her and went after the information like a badger. He had found proof of the radiation and damages being done due to Rocky Flats but the “powers that be” didn’t want that kind of information out. Dr. Johnson and my mother were threatened, followed, and harassed for speaking out.
My mother was just 6 months away from full retirement and the county fired her. She lost ALL her pension and everything she had worked so many decades for. Can anyone remember the movie “Silkwood?” Yes indeed. Dr. Johnson went on a crusade against the deception, he went to every conference he could, wrote papers, and of course, was fired from the health department also. Here are some links to the Rocky Flats information. I include them here for you as my way of speaking out against the real horrors of the long-term, life long health injuries that people must live with. I am one of them I think.
I can remember going out with my mother on some weekend calls to her patient’s homes and ranches out near Rocky Flats. I played with their animals, played in the dirt, breathed the air and even drank the water out there on occasion. For many decades I have lived a “half-life” because I cannot see to drive, have complications with the adrenal system and circulatory system, joint problems… well, you name it. Life has not been easy for me or for my loved ones who have helped me limp along through the time since I was only 7 years old.
Why speak out now? Well, I guess I feel like I am running a bit low on time lately. I have spoken out on things in the indigenous community, stood for truth when it comes to agencies like FEMAand etc. At this point, I am too ill to care much about what anyone thinks or believes about our government and its agencies that are SUPPOSED to care about the citizens. I just know some truths. I have lived them. My mother and Dr. Johnson lost their careers speaking out on this one topic.
So today, I give you the links above about Rocky Flats and some on Dr. Carl Johnson to read if you wish. The article below scares me to death for the next generations of young ones who may end up living with a lifelong battle with their health and survival just as I have had.
When in the world will we WAKE UP and see that uranium mining, use and development is a FATAL mistake? Perhaps not in my lifetime, though I hope that my sharing of a very personal part of my life may open a few eyes out there. I pray that will be the case, in hopes that no one in the future will live with the kind of illness I have had to deal with for decades.
Bio: Bluejay is a freelance writer and social justice activist based in Canada. Much of her work has focused on gender equity and the status of Aboriginal peoples.