Franklin families discover girls diagnosed with cancer lived in same apartment

Two families discovered a shocking connection about the Franklin apartment they've each called home.
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There are new childhood cancer connections in one Johnson County town.

It's all coming to light near the contaminated well field 13 Investigates first told you about in Franklin.

We take you inside two real life stories to show you what the State's statistics likely missed during the Department of Health review.

Two families reeling over the number of children battling cancer in their community.

RELATED: 13 Investigates childhood cancer rates in Johnson County

Kim Sich has lived in Franklin for over 20 years. Angela Brennan moved to the city in 2011.

"I knew about Emma (Findley), and I knew about the Bucks (Kaleb)," Kim Sich revealed. "Emma went to the same school my kids went to."

Angela Brennan had only heard about three children diagnosed with cancer until a week ago, when she saw the faces of 30 children in a 13 Investigates report.

"I cry all the time," she said revealing the impact of what she saw.

Daughters Diagnosed With Rare Forms of Cancers

But Brennan's heartache really started at home.

"Karley is one of the lucky ones and is a (childhood cancer) survivor. But when you read all the others and the battle that they had, that they went through it tears me up," she explained.

Within months of moving to Franklin, doctors discovered a cyst on Karley's cheek. In 2012, she was diagnosed with Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma.

Brennan remembers how astonished the doctors were.

"'She's eight...what?' They were in awe. They couldn't believe it was in a child," she recalled.

That's because Karley's cancer is common in men - older men, 55 years and up.

RELATED: Johnson County parents want answers in childhood cancer cases

Just months after Karley's diagnosis, a scoliosis surgery for 14-year-old Madison Newton turned up Pilocytic Astrocytoma. It's a juvenile cancer doctors thought was treatable.

"This kind of tumor does not usually spread aggressively," said Maddie's mother, Kim Sich.

But Maddie's case quickly escalated when her cancer began to mimic a form typically found in young adults, mostly males.

"The tumors kept coming back. She ended up with four in the spine and two in the brain," Sich told 13 Investigates.

Losing Battle

Maddie fought.

She endured two surgeries and had to relearn how to walk twice. But when the tumors came back a third time, her parents got grim news.

"I said, 'What's wrong?' He said, 'They give her six months.' I said, 'You're lying, there's no way!'," the mother said, breaking down in tears.

"Maddie was determined to beat this. She didn't even make it the six months they gave us," Sich revealed.

Maddie died in March of this year.

Her memory palpable in the family home and in their hearts.

"Maddie's only been gone eight months, you know, I fight with this everyday," Sich said.

The Shocking Discovery

And now, on the heels of a 13 Investigates report into the high childhood cancer rates in Johnson County, these two families have made a startling discovery. Something that raises new concerns and questions.

Both Maddie and Karley were diagnosed with cancer after living not just in the same neighborhood, or on the same street, but "the exact same apartment," revealed Brennan.

"It's kind of weird and it's crazy," said Karley, who is now 11 years old and in remission.

RELATED: 13 Investigates identifies more cancer cases in Johnson County

Maddie's family moved out of the apartment unit in 2010.

Karly's family moved in the following year.

13 Investigates has decided not to publish the exact address of the apartment at this time. But it is located within sight of the contaminated Webb Well Field, where the Indiana American Water Company says dangerous chemicals migrated from Franklin Power Products into the soil and groundwater and ultimately flowed into three of the company's wells.

Environmental Concerns

According to water company attorneys in a 2007 letter, toxic TCE and PCE solvents from the former Franklin Power Products/Amphenol site on Forsythe Street traveled for years through Hurricane Creek, breaking down along the way into DCE - a chemical cousin of the toxins.

"I never heard about it. So it was like a big shock to me," said Sich.

"All the fish died twice," said Brennan, speaking of the fish in a nearby pond.

Even though the State Department of Health failed to find a link or common thread to childhood cancers and water from the well field, both moms believe the number of sick kids in Franklin is more than a coincidence.

RELATED: Health officials say no cancer cluster in Johnson County

"It says that something is wrong," replied Brennan.

"If it came from something like that, I want answers. I want somebody to pay for it," said Sich in disgust. "You sit and have to explain to an 8-year-old that his sister, who babied him and adored him, is going to die. I mean, he still looks up in the sky and talks to her," she continued breaking down over the loss of her oldest daughter.

The families say they will continue to push for answers.

13 Investigates is again asking the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to sit down and talk about the sources of contamination involving the Webb Well Field.