Fla. Marine vet fights cancer, government

Friday - 3/22/2013, 6:41pm EDT

Associated Press

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- A 76-year-old Marine veteran has spent the last 10 years battling cancer and the federal government.

Tom Gervasi of Sarasota, Fla., believes he contracted a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer after drinking contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina -- where he trained in the mid-1950s.

Federal officials say a known human cancer-causing material likely first exceeded the maximum contaminant level in August 1953, and evidence shows it might go back as far as November 1948.

In January, a federal agency tentatively set 1953 as the starting date for the contamination in Lejeune's residential area. A law passed last year granted health care and screening to Lejeune Marines and their dependents between 1957 and 1987.

Gervasi's requests for compensation have been rejected twice.


Associated Press writer Allen Breed contributed to this report from Camp LeJeune, NC.


On the Web: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/index.asp

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