Wilm. woman warns of health issues from contaminated water

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - More and more people believe health problems are stemming from contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.  Now, a Wilmington woman is gaining credit for getting people help for the people who say they're victims.

Terry Dyer can now enjoy a glass of water while sitting on her porch, but it wasn't too long ago she blamed the water for her health problems.

Dyer was diagnosed with bladder cancer in May, and believes water at Camp Lejeune made her and thousands of others ill.  She said she was exposed to high volumes of PCE, which is one of the causes of bladder cancer.

Dyer spent 15 years of her life on Camp Lejeune and said anyone who lived on the military base between the 1950's and the 1980's were likely exposed to contaminated water.

Dyer runs an organization called the "STAND," which is aimed at informing people who are likely to be sick from tainted water.  Over the years, thousands of people who once lived at the base have joined her website, saying they are sick because of the water.

This movement is gaining national support with hearings this month in Washington.  Recently, a former marine was awarded partial disability benefits after his doctor signed a letter verifying that his medical problems were likely caused by toxic water.

The vet credits Dyer's organization for helping him realize why he was sick.

"Our organization has always wanted to see healthcare for the vets and the dependents and civilians that once lived out there," said Dyer.  "We would like to see some kind of compensation, people have lost their jobs and homes because of this."

Although she is battling cancer herself, Dyer said she'll continue going to Capitol Hill fighting for those she believes are sick from contaminated water.

The Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act is a bill that would grant VA Healthcare to all with links to the contaminated water.  The bill is facing the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee.

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