The Families

At right, Jimmy Maez died of leukemia at the age of 5 in the early 1950s. His sister, Helen Guerra, is suffering from kidney cancer now. At left, Amelia Jaurequi, shown with her husband, Juan, died of stomach cancer. Families are now asking whether Jimmy's and Amelia's deaths and Helen's illness, and possibly hundreds like them, were caused by the Trinity bomb.

This from a Trinity downwinder:

"It is time for the U.S. government to recognize and acknowledge the sacrifices made by the people in these communities. I hate to believe that our government considered the people living in the Tularosa Basin as insignificant. Regardless, today 65 years later and with all that is known about radiation exposure and its significant negative health effects, it is high time that the U.S.government return to screen and treat people for cancer and compensate them for the suffering that they have endured in silence because no one has had the decency to return and to listen to their cries for help thus far.”

Rosemary Cordova's mother died of breast cancer and a brain tumor; her son Danny has a brain tumor; a sister died of breast cancer. Of the nine siblings in Cordova’s mother’s family, four have or had one form of cancer or another. "It just goes from generation to generation,’ said Cordova, 66. Cordova tells of community bake sales held to raise money to buy painkillers for the sick and dying.

"We have had 14 diagnoses of major cancers in the past 15 years in our family.  It is time to sort through the ashes and find the truth." -- Tresa Van Winkle, Alamogordo, N.M.