My name is Danielle Marie Cerone-Buckley and I lived on the 8600 Block of Boyson St. Downey, California about 5 blocks away from the Rockwell from 1973 to 1990 my parents owned the house since 1971.
In the beginning of August 2009 my husband came home from work and was telling me about some workers from Downey Studios who had become injured from toxic chemicals that were found on the site that was formerly the Rockwell site. I suppose he thought this was very interesting considering that I lived there and that I am chronically sick…
I was busy with my activities of housework and taking care of my kids and I kind of brushed it off.
My mom had also mentioned several months ago that she had be researching some toxic chemicals that cause Thyroid Dysfunction and that might be why I have had Thyroid problems since I was about 30. I guess I just sorta shrugged it off at the time because I really didn’t see the whole big picture…I couldn’t really wrap my head around it, I guess you could say and at that time I didn’t really think much could be done about it anyway. Then about 2 weeks ago, I met my friends from High School at a restaurant that is located on the site that was formerly Rockwell. I spent some time shopping in the stores that are also located at that site and I spent some time thinking about the history that I knew from living nearby about that site and I started to think about those poor Downey Studios workers and wondered if they were so injured by close contamination did those contaminates travel out into the community through the air, water and earth, could this be the reason why I have been so chronically sick.
Its a pretty overwhelming thing to think about and I really didn’t know if there would be much way to prove it so, I sorta let it go from my mind and tried to enjoy my time with my friends but I thought that I really needed to do some research before I could really say for sure. I generally don’t ever feel very good especially since I have gotten older but it was strange after hanging out on that site for a few hours how horrible I felt all last week. That prompted me to start looking on the internet and this is where I came into contact with Leonard and after hearing his story and speaking with Vicky Travis about the extent of the contamination at that site I am very convinced that this is the source of my health problems as well as that of my family and I am equally concerned that this issue is not over and has the potential to keep causing health issues for people who live or work on or around that land for a long time to come because of the heavy population of the use of that land and the poor clean up job.
In my particular case, I have been very chronically ill since I was 17 but looking back I am not so sure that we ever really felt very good living in that house. We were always tired and mildly sick, always had headaches and respiratory problems, swollen lymph nodes that I still struggle with today and my brother always had terrible allergies that nobody ever really understood, he just learned to live with it as have we all through the years. He passed away about 12 years ago from type one diabetes at the age of 28. Which seemed very strange and we always questioned why he became sick to this day. Interestingly enough my brother was fascinated with the space program and spent lots of time at Rockwell open houses and rummage sales where people were interested in buying stuff that Rockwell was liquidating…but my brother always joked that we should wear hazmat suits for living in that area!! I think people always suspected but nobody really knew for sure till now!!
I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, chronic sinusitis and when I was 17 I suffered from a blood disease that damaged my spleen and had to be removed, I am still always tired, I currently have a benign tumor that I have probably had since I was a child that needs to be removed and get worn out very easy and haven’t worked in 5 years cause I have just not been well. I now believe that the source of this was all from the toxic chemicals that we were exposed to over many, many years from the Rockwell superfund site. We need to work together on this issue though to create awareness because I believe that a lot of this has been covered up but also due to technology of that time they didn’t have the public laws and the resources to test for chemicals like they do now and they will try to say they just didn’t know it was going on. But there are also much documented reports of things that actually happened on site and from that we can try to figure out how it affected the community around. But we need to start demanding that the government come clean about what really happened we are going to continue to be sick because they are treating us for illnesses that might be close to the symptoms but does not really treat the real illness and there are conditions that will never be reversed by any medical treatments and people will still be dying from their exposure and lives have been destroyed because of living with these health conditions
I am so sorry to anybody who has been affected by governmental toxic waste and the way it has been handled, I believe that there are many illnesses and conditions that could have been prevented if they had taken the precautions at the time to protect the community from these horrible circumstances. We always think that it is other places other people we never want to believe that it could or did happen to us but this is real and I believe that it is time for answers.
Thank you Leonard for providing a space where people can come together for information, resources and a place for self-expression and understanding. I have been told for years that they just don’t know what is wrong with me, why I never feel good and after years hearing so much of this it gets hard to believe that I would just be making myself sick cause they can\’t figure out what’s wrong with me. Please join with us in demanding these answers together!!
Thanks for taking the time to read my story,
Danielle Marie Cerone-Buckley