SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — Cleaning Up With The Kardashians?
Community members and leaders in Simi Valley joined with two Kardashians Sunday to demand stricter clean-up standards at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory — the site 60 years ago this weekend of a partial nuclear meltdown.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Greg Mills reports, to keep up with the Kardashians — well, two of them at least — you had to come to the Rancho Tapo Community Park in Simi Valley Sunday.
Despite their sibling star power, the attention grabber was Lauren Hammersly.
“It was March of last year that she took her last breath at Children’s Hospital,” said Lauren about her daughter who lost a battle with cancer.
“I know what it’s like to lose a child with cancer and nobody should ever have to face that again,” she said.
Hammersly and the Kardashians and community activists were at the event demanding officials clean the site properly and thoroughly.
“Even if the lab didn’t cause my daughter’s cancer, it caused somebody’s cancer,” Hammersly said.
A 2007 study showed cancer rates the last two decades of the 20th century to be 60 percent higher for those who live within two miles of the site.
The City Council asked the Department of Energy to do a full clean-up — and a few years later that still hasn’t happened.
That’s the reason behind the ‘Rock the Clean Up” call to action
Concerned moms who live in the area point to a cancer cluster affecting young people predominately.
“Every time I add a child to that map it’s like having my daughter diagnosed again.” says Melissa Bumstead.
Her daughter Grace was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia in 2014 and relapsed in 2017. Grace had a bone marrow transplant and has been cancer-free for two years.
Bumstead and other moms point out that the cancer cluster surrounds the middle of the map. And that is exactly where the partial meltdown happened — on a hilltop overlooking Simi Valley.
“I can’t say that’s what caused Grace’s cancer. We don’t have the facts,” said Bumstead.
Some residents said they don’t want the site cleaned up for fear contaminant will spread.