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Sharon Sims-Belvin • 9 years ago

My family has the misfortune of living on the Barnett Shale (TCEQ list approx. 15,000 active wells with pending permits for thousands more plus thousands more listed as non-active) where industrial frack sites are being woven into our neighborhoods, up against our schools, homes, churches and parks. In some cases, from the padded well wall to a backyard swingset there is little more than 50'. At our city baseball fields a foul ball will bounce off the well wall. Shortly after a padsite was put near our home in heavily populated Arlington, Tx. (we have 60+ pad sites in a 90 mile area that is Arlington) and fracking began, my 4 year old son became very ill. Two years worth of misdiagnosing, blood test, food allergy tests (Blood work, then 21 pin pricks to the back, wearing 22 allergy test tabs taped down his little back for the 1st 2 weeks of 2nd grade) endoscopy/colonoscopy-4 times, more blood work, eliminating egg, milk, wheat, soy, nuts, tree nuts, fish and shell fish from his diet and more blood work, the Specialists we had exhausted told me I would probably never know the source of his illness. They gave it a name....Idiopathic Eosinophilic Esophagitis/Colitis. My baby had spent years in agonizing pain very time he ate or had to use the potty and most of time in between. His esophagus had such extreme swelling and damge that he often choked on even small amounts of food. I went to lunch every day I possibly could because I was terrified that he would choke at school. He had open ulcers and sores for the entire length and in every section of his esophagus and in his colon. I would sit on the floor outside the bathroom and cry while my child begged God for help and heard him say many times "Calling all Angels, calling all Angels!" as tears ran down his face. Since all the food allergy tests revealed nothing, not the slightest reaction, they told me it was most likely environmentally related. It took an oral steriod inhaler -4 x a day, 4 x the adult dose of Rx Prevacid everyday, watching everything he ate, countless bottles of Tums and Mylanta, limiting outdoor activities (especially when there was fracking at the site near our home), drinking only bottled water, and another few years (still in horrific pain) to get him well........
The spring of 2011 was my 8th year working at our family owned Flower Shop. I had the incredible fortune of being able to work and raise my kids there. That spring the frackers tore down a beautiful building 1/2 block to the south and up hill from the flower shop that used to be the headquarters for a Christian Broadcast.(surrounding this block are lg. apartment complexs on 3 sides and a retirement center on the 4th side...literally less than 40' away, just across the street!) The huge trees on that block were the first things that died. In July fracking began. In August there was 3-4' of "water" rushing down the hill one day. We contacted the city...they said it was a "clean water" main break, but the water was the color of a paper bag. We have black soil in that area and clean water from city pipes certainly shouldn't be that color! My sister and I knew it had to do with the fracking going on up the hill, but no one seemed to be interested, not the City, TCEQ, the media, the neighborhood. Sept. brought the kids starting school. I was so glad that my son was doing better. He was down to just Mylanta at school. October I started feeling really tired. November and December I had a bad tooth ache, then a terrible cold. Mid December I went to the Dr. with what I thought was a spider bite on my leg that was digressing rapidly. He told me it was a staph infection....the really, really bad kind. What?!! How?!! I go to the flower shop, volunteer alot at my kids school, the grocery store and home! Where could I have picked up a super bad staph infection?! He told me that it's in the air and I could have gotten it anywhere.....but "why" was the question? Throughout Dec. I completely lost my appetite...all the Christmas food! Ugh, it just made me feel sick! Called my Dr. back, he did a simple CBC and called me on New Years Eve.....I knew it was bad. Dr.'s never call you directly, especially on New Years Eve! He asked "What chemicals have you recently, in the past 3-6 months, been exposed to?" None, I said! "What has changed for you in the past 3-6 months?" Nothing, I said. "I believe you have the early stages of Leukemia."......Silence....My weakened immune system had made me susceptible to the tooth infection, the bad cold and the staph. Not only was it Leukemia but it was the most agressive, fast moving type....AML. "My kids.....my beautiful baby girl...she's in first grade and her sweet brother is in 3rd!!! I can't have AML! I'm young and in the past 12 years the only thing that's happened to me was a tooth ache and a cold! I simply don't have time for this.....I mean...What?!!!" I counted back 3-6 months........that would mean summer-fall......nothing changed in that time....oh..oh, no! NO! The fracking started in July and went on for several months......'til when.... Oct maybe? Benzene is the leading cause of AML come to find out. Here's the tricky part ya'll. Benzene only shows up in your system for 24-72 hrs after exposure. The IEE and the AML show up months later. That's how the frackers get away with what they're doing. I absolutley KNOW that the fracking made my son ill and I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that it's what caused my AML (AML is usually diagnosed in older men 65-75 yrs. old who have spent a lifetime in a factory environment exposed to voc's like benzene, not in happy, healthy, energetic, young Moms). By the grace of God, I had 2 siblings that were an exact 100% stem cell match, had a transplant at MDA (after 2 different rounds of hard core chemo to wipe out the AML) and am now at home thankful God spared my life. It has been overwhelming difficult but I am determined to live, to see my children grown, to let everyone I can know my story. God was with me the entire time and I promised him that I would warn everyone, anyone that would listen. I have friends and family that work within the fracking industry. Some of them have confirmed things that I suspected. Do your own research, ask your own questions. Just please be aware, please do not believe them (the frackers) when they say it's safe. Find out for yourself and post, talk, write about the things you learn.

Guest • 9 years ago

So let me get this straight. You say that typically old men 65-75 year of age get leukemia after lifelong exposure to benzene but you're absolutely certain you got leukemia from hyrdofracking in just 3-6 months? This is your indisputable proof?

Sharon Sims-Belvin • 9 years ago

It took you that long to change your name and post a comment? You are no challenge! Get lost!

Guest • 9 years ago

Just like I thought. Just venom and vitriol. No response. No defense. A big fat zero.

Sharon Sims-Belvin • 9 years ago

Same as the answer to the questions I asked you Freakman. No defense. A big fat zero. Guess those answer aren't in your booklet. Your best shot was to change your user name and hide.

Guest • 9 years ago

I am happy to answer any questions. But I would expect the same of you. Please remind me what questions you asked of me that I failed to respond to?

Guest • 9 years ago

Sharon: I truly am sorry you have suffered from leukemia. I realize my comments are perhaps being perceived as insensitive. I really do have an aunt who died from leukemia. A good friend of mine was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and another close friend died last month from liver cancer. So, my apologies if this is coming across as insensitive. I just really get worked up when people jump to conclusions like you have in this instance without any proof whatsoever other than "this activity coincided with my diagnosis." I'm sorry but that just isn't proof of anything.

I would prefer to have a rational discussion about oil and gas drilling rather than place blame on them for everyone's ills. I just don't believe that is so. We live in an age where hydrocarbons power the world. Whether it's heat and transportation or manufacturing, we depend on hydrocarbons every day - even to be able to post in these forums.

Hydrocarbons give us life. They give us freedom. They provide us with warm homes and hot meals. Without hydrocarbons, you would not have been treated as you were for your illness. Thank god for hydrocarbons.

I truly wish you well and hope that your leukemia is in remission for good. That's honest and sincere.

I would

Jennifer • 8 years ago

Every time I get in a "debate" with a landman, I invite them to bring their children to my home for a week. Come smell our fresh air (our nearest neighbor is two miles away). Come drink our fresh well water. Let your kiddos swim in the pool water! No one has taken me up on it as of yet.

Jennifer • 8 years ago

The people exposed at work weren't drinking it.

K Roberts • 9 years ago

So now we are finally getting some "acceptable, " documented proof of what fracktivists have said all along- HYDROFRACKING MAKES PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT SICK!! How many more cases, years, how much more data is our government going to need before they recognize the need to BAN FRACKING!?

Guest • 8 years ago

"Early results", "indicate", "likely", "preliminary".

irene • 8 years ago

Are you kidding me??? You consider 27 people out of 100000+ exposed residents a reliable number do the math!!!!! 27/100000=0.00027 and I bet the number is even smaller than my generous estimation!!!!!

JMF • 9 years ago

We are all getting "fracked" by the industry, the state and the EPA on this.....

JL • 8 years ago

I can not believe how ignorant and insensitive so many people can be to the stories of terrible suffering and sickness like Sharon's story. Pleas know that there are many people who do know after years of studying and reading of other environmental damage done to people near fracking sites that the majority of people not only believe you but know others who have been harmed. My question is why does it take the EPA so long to rule on a total Ban on Fracking! Everyones health is in jeopardy from air, water, food products etc. We as a nation can not sit back and just keep studying this over and over and over. Action to protect all of us needs to be passed now! Please Let's Hurry and Ban Fracking Now!

democracytwopointzero • 9 years ago

Count the number of non-disclosure agreements...

Guest • 9 years ago

hundreds of Argentines are concerned about recent contracts with Chevron, need your advice. thanks

Guest • 9 years ago

Cash your royalty checks and enjoy life. Thanks Chevron for bringing energy to our everyday lives. I enjoy hot water, electric lights, a comfy ride and warm food. Risks are there just like in everything else in life. It's all about balance. Friend of mine was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Not a frack truck within 500 miles of his location. Bad things happen. That's part of the cycle and balance of life.

How much do you NEED? • 9 years ago

So what are you going to eat and drink once there is nothing left to buy, no water or food, because it's been poisoned or destroyed. Like it was said by a wise Chief "Only when the last river runs dry, will they understand they cannot eat or drink their money"

Guest • 9 years ago

Tell me how food was poisoned by the industrial revolution before the formation of the EPA or state agencies such as NYS DEC. Tell me how millions of oil and gas wells drilled throughout the U.S., (70,000 in NY State alone) has cause your water or food to be "poisoned or destroyed." Tell me how building cities with huge skyscrapers and vast sewage systems "poisoned or destroyed" our food and water.

I think you should consider your alarmist attitude might need a reality adjustment. There are plenty of government entities that control food, water and fracking. Being an alarmist about the process is not helpful.

Proof please that there will be "nothing led to buy, no water or food because it's been poisoned or destroyed."

Otherwise, these are nothing more than meaningless environmental activism talking points crafted to instill irrational fear in the minds of low information dolts.

Lij Lij Briggy • 9 years ago

"Tell me how millions of oil and gas wells drilled throughout the U.S.,
(70,000 in NY State alone) has cause your water or food to be "poisoned
or destroyed." Um, just look at NYC, they have to get their water from Upstate. Nuf said.

Guest • 9 years ago

Now I see the level of intelligence I'm dealing with. You haven't a clue. I don't care to engage with with people who say silly, childish things.

Jennifer • 8 years ago

You sound like a landman.

Guest • 9 years ago

Concerned health professionals? Someone ask Sandra how she heats her home! Like Professor Anthony Ingrafeea, my guess is with natural gas!

Jennifer • 8 years ago

Actually, I live on a farm in Colorado, and they began fracking every 20 acres around our property in 2010. We don't have an option of using natural gas to heat our homes, but we get the joy of smelling the wells and watching our livestock come up with "unexplainable" illnesses, not to mention the fact that every single well here is sitting smack dab in the middle of an agricultural field. There are no ponds for runoff here. There are no water trucks shipping out the runoff here. Where is that going? It's going into the fields where you get your food.

I get so angry when people say anything about the benefit of natural gas or the benefit of money. We don't get the gas! We have no benefits here. The gas companies don't hire local people, thus no economic benefit. They don't pipe the natural gas from the well located 600 feet from my front door to my house. If you want cheap natural gas, then I say you should have to drill it at YOUR house. I signed no lease with the oil companies. So what happens? They drill right up next to your property line (the closest one to our home is about 200 feet from our well-head. They tell you straight up, or at least they did me, that if we don't sign a lease our neighbors will and then I will be the only one not getting paid). For what it is worth, we argued the drilling because we own all of our mineral and water rights, but the people who originally owned our farm signed a decades-old lease. We get a check every year for our "portion" that so far has topped out at $24 for a year. Don't tell me they aren't going through our water because I know how deep my well is and I know how deep they drilled. If you don't have a well within a mile of your house then don't tell me anything about the benefits of natural gas drilling.

I can't say that the drilling is the cause, but we have lost 50% of our pine trees since 2010. Our neighboring farm a few miles away lost 42 trees last summer alone and we look to lose the rest of our trees before this summer hits. Certified arborists say it isn't disease and it isn't bugs. Coincidence? Maybe. But if it was at your house I bet you'd be considering fracking as a cause too.