SATELLITE BEACH — Each new dot on Stel Bailey and Dan Willemin’s map of coastal central Brevard tells a story. Each represents an impacted existence: a life cut short or a life forever changed by illness. Over many months, Bailey and Willemin covered their mapwith 328 dots for 328 cancer cases in Satellite Beach since 2000. Survivors volunteered their diagnoses online, with new cases trickling in daily. Early drafts of the map showed cancers clustered in two distinct “blobs” just south of Patrick Air Force Base. “I started having a lot of people coming forward. I just knew in my gut, ‘I’m on to something here,’ ” said Bailey, a cancer survivor who grew up just north of the base in Cocoa Beach. Dr. Julie Clift Greenwalt, a Jacksonville oncologist and Satellite High grad, also believed she was on to something. Her suspicions began in 2015 when her best friend and fellow SHS grad, Ashleigh Royalty Range, died of breast cancer, at age 29. Less than a year later, Greenwalt was diagnosed at age 31 with a rare cancer of the appendix that strikes one in 2 million people. Greenwalt recovered, but kept hearing of high school friends who didn’t, or who were diagnosed young. Both Greenwalt’s professional hunch and the clusters… Read full this story
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