Recent News

S.A.F.E EPA Protest

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On September 20, 2022, Lesley participated in the S.A.F.E (Scientists, Activists and Families for Cancer Free Environments) march and protest in Washington, DC at the EPA headquarters.   Learn more at

Significant Increase in Childhood Coastal Cancer

children playing in oil on local beach

As many of you know,  I have been tracking childhood cancer in Baldwin County for over 15 years. Back then, we had a confirmed childhood cancer cluster that involved our daughter Sarah. Today, 11 years after the BP oil spill, we are still seeing childhood cancer elevations of significance, according to National Cancer Institute statistics for 2013 – 2017. A recent search revealed elevations exceeding state and national averages at three coastal Louisiana parishes as well. The law firm I am working for is heading up a subclass of children facing chronic health effects – everything from asthma to cancer – as the youngest victims were certainly unaware of the dangers of the oil and Corexit that we now know was toxic. Makes me wonder about the rising cancer numbers when hindsight is 20/20. View the statistics and see interactive maps. 

The Cost of Silence – An Update

Official Selection, 2020 Sundance Film FestivalLesley continues to be involved with the documentary, “The Cost of Silence,” which she was interviewed for in 2017.  She is now an Associate Producer on the documentary, and is thrilled to announce that it will be featured at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.  Read more about the film here.

The Cost of Silence is also included on The Guardian’s “From Taylor Swift to Parkland: 10 Documentaries to watch in 2020.


Baldwin County Drinking Water Study

The BP oil spill disaster was the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Coastal Alabama was one of the hardest hit areas during the 2010 oil spill, exposing cleanup workers, residents and tourists to a myriad of chemicals contained the crude oil and chemical dispersant. Baldwin County (Alabama) – a coastal jewel with miles of beaches on the Gulf, several bays and fertile marshland – felt the impacts for months after the oil spill. In the last decade, Baldwin County has experienced a spike in childhood and adult cancers. Our county’s childhood cancer rates and leukemia rates are some of the highest in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute. While the Deepwater Horizon disaster has contributed to our public health crisis, other environmental issues raise concern. Our public water systems in Baldwin County consistently exceed health guidelines for at least four carcinogens: nitrates, chromium, radium and trihalomethanes. However, nothing has been done to improve the water quality even as we stress and already stressed aquifer system as Baldwin County now ranks the 11th fastest growing county in the U.S. Water quality complacency comes from the fact that these cancer causing contaminants fall within legal EPA limits. Never mind that the limits are outdated, based more on costs than health and that they don’t take into account the cumulative effect of these carcinogens. We need independent broad spectrum water testing, which Eastern Shore Community Health Partners aims to do in the near future. To that end, we are now launching an online fundraising campaign.  Based on the results, we anticipate launching a program where warranted to provide reverse osmosis systems for residents.

Donate to fund a Baldwin County Drinking Water Study!

See the related article from USA Today: Can you get cancer from tap water? New study says even ‘safe’ drinking water poses risk

BP Oil Spill – Links to News of Continuing Impacts

Gulf oil spill: The new flood of BP lawsuits hitting Mobile’s federal court

Remember the BP oil spill? These cleanup workers are still suffering after 9 years.


Fighting for Justice

Lt. General Russell Honore’ , human rights activist Danielle Leigh Good, Lesley Pacey and Dr. Michael Robichaux

It was an honor to meet some of the heroes fighting for justice on behalf of victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. April 20, 2018, on the 8th anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, I attended a press conference in New Orleans and met some oil spill victims. Here, I am with Dr. Micheal Robichaux, (far right), human rights activist Danielle Leigh Good and Lt. General Russell Honore’ of the Green Army, an alliance of civic, community and concerned citizens ready to elect meaningful social, political and environmental change in Louisiana. Sadly, many of cleanup workers and Gulf Coast residents harmed by the oil and dispersant have not received compensation. Others have died waiting for justice. A rally also was held in NOLA today on April 21 on behalf of victims all across our Gulf Coast.

Thousands of cleanup workers that claim BP oil spill made them sick haven’t had day in court

The Cost of Silence

Lesley Pacey was interviewed August 7, 2017 for “The Cost of Silence” documentary by director Mark

Manning. Baldwin County has seen an increase in rare adult and childhood cancers since the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Lissa Chisolm and her daugher Tralynn, a Ewing sarcoma survivor,

were also interviewed.

“The Cost of Silence” will debut at film festivals this fall.  Learn more here. 


“The Cells of Baldwin County” is discussed in The Lancet Oncology Journal

Lesley Pacey is quoted in the story profiling cancer survivor Trevor Schaefer and his fight to identify cancer clusters.  Watch the video and and read the article on The Big Picture page.



Join a Research Initiative

JOIN a national childhood cancer epidemiological research initiative founded in Florida by the Oliver Forever Strong Foundation and backed by leading cancer scientists and research centers who share our families’ mission to identify TheReasonsWhy pediatric cancer strikes us, and TheReasonsWhy it is increasing at such an alarming rate – up 35% since 1975. Visit to join and be counted. 


Lesley Pacey was interviewed recently on WKRG News 5.

Watch the video of the interview here:  “Could Environmental Factors Be Contributing To Cancer On The Eastern Shore? One Mother Is Looking For Answers.”

The Cells of Baldwin County:  Winner “Audience Best Short Film” at the 2016 Fairhope Film Festival!

Fairhope Film Festival Audience Award for Best Short Film

Lesley Pacey holds the award from the 2016 Fairhope Film Festival

We are very excited to announce that the Cells of Baldwin County was awarded the “Audience Best Short Film” at the  2016 Fairhope Film Festival.  You may read more about this film below and on our Facebook page.  Watch the award winning film here.

The documentary is also discussed in the Lagniappe Weekly.  Read the article here.

Please consider making a donation to this worthy film about childhood cancer in Baldwin County. I have spent nearly a decade trying to make sense of why so many children in my home county have been diagnosed with rare cancers. I have reached out to state health officials, environmental activists and university researchers for environmental studies. After my daughter Sarah, now 14, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 at age 4, state health officials determined she was part of a childhood leukemia cluster on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. Today, I personally know about nearly 50 children in Baldwin County who recently have been diagnosed with various cancers. I believe Mindy Keeley’s documentary will raise awareness in a way I simply cannot do on my own. Thank you in advance for your support.
With deepest gratitude, Lesley
The Cells of Baldwin County
The Cells of Baldwin County

A documentary film about a childhood cancer cluster in Baldwin County, Alabama and the families who are trying to make sense of it…

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News Story:  Reality Check Cancer Cluster Study

Eastern Shore Community Health Partners (ESCHP) was formed in June 2008 in response to a preponderance of rare cancers and neurological diseases on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay in Baldwin County, Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health in November 2008 concluded that Baldwin County experienced a childhood cancer cluster from 2000 through 2004, while reporting slightly elevated levels of leukemias, lymphomas, bladder, kidney and ovarian cancers in recent years.

Our own word-of-mouth database dating back to 1995 shows that the Eastern Shore of Baldwin County has been experiencing high rates of rare cancers, including brain and neurological cancers, leukemias and lymphomas. Our statistics show that Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is, at the very least, five times higher on the Eastern Shore than the national average.

The mission of our nonprofit agency is to protect the health and welfare of Eastern Shore citizens through increasing knowledge and awareness of health issues including rare cancers and neurological diseases. By maintaining a database of these rare chronic diseases and working with scientists and researchers from universities, we aim to assess the full scope of chronic diseases on the Eastern Shore and conduct studies to uncover possible environmental causes.

We believe our best chance of success in this quest will come from privately funded studies.

Unfortunately, the Alabama Department of Public Health does not appear equipped to address the issue and protect our local residents. After our organization made state officials aware of the high rate of rare cancers in
the area, we were promised a full and complete investigation. Instead, the department interviewed only 56 of the 90 contacts provided by our organization and by residents who had contacted the department.