Testimonial of Dolores Morales and her son, José, of Sacha
Dolores: We lived in a house about 20 yards from an oil well. Another Texaco oil well was upstream from where we got our drinking water, and the water was usually oily with a yellowish foam.
I had 11 children. I lost Pedro when he was 19. The first sign of his sickness was when he broke his leg. He never stood up after that. He had three cancerous tumors: in his lungs, liver, and his leg. He only lived 10 months longer.
He really suffered. He begged the doctors to amputate his leg, but it was too late, the cancer had spread to the rest of his body. He was young; he had a girlfriend. He didn’t want to die.
Afterwards we were all sad. We still feel very bad.
Now, my 15-year-old son has leukemia. He’s receiving treatment. There are times when he has relapses, when he doesn’t want to eat, when his bones ache. Right now he’s in remission, but as he matures, it could be dangerous; the leukemia could return.
José: I first felt sick when I was four years old; my bones hurt. They say I have leukemia. When I’m sick, my bones ache, I fall down a lot, and I feel sad. I have to go to Quito every six weeks for a checkup. But I haven’t gone recently because my mother doesn’t have any money. I’m afraid I’m going to have more problems in the future.