Cancer cluster mystery deepens as 18-year-old is now diagnosed with glioblastoma
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CBS12) —
The mystery surrounding a possible cancer cluster on the Treasure Coast deepens.
Adela Rivas said her 18-year-old son, Kyle Vericella, is now part of group no one wants to be in: a group of glioblastoma patients.
Health department officials said there's no connection based on statistics, but this 18-year-old's mom said something needs to be done.
"Somebody has to do something. How many people have to get this and possibly lose their life for somebody to do something about it? It's really sad," Rivas said.
She said one second, her son was a normal teenager, who spent most of his time fishing.
"I snook fish. That's really all I do," Vericella said.
He also makes his own lures.
Then, Rivas said the next thing she knew, her son was in emergency surgery on Christmas Eve getting a brain tumor removed.
"It’s scary that you’re 18-year-old son has brain cancer and everyone thought it was a sinus infection," she said.
Rivas said doctors couldn't get all of her son's tumor removed, so there are still some side effects.
"He has no peripheral vision," she said. "His short term memory isn’t all the way. We’re hoping once the tumor is treated, some of these things will come back."
Vericella has a six week treatment program in Jacksonville, where Rivas said Kyle will have chemo and radiation treatment. He said he feels great.
"I feel a lot better than before," he said. "I used to have headaches all the time. I feel like a normal person now. I just can’t read as good, but other than that, I feel like I normal person."
Vericella and his mom left for Jacksonville on Thursday, where they'll get his treatment plan. Then, they'll have to stay there for six weeks, meaning Rivas can't work and they have to stay away from home.