1st Generation Daughter – U.S. Navy
Activist & Research Goddess
I am a retired hairdresser , I worked about 30 yrs. with a congenital birth defect affecting my ankles. It wasn’t diagnosed until my late 20’s, both of my ankles are fused. As a hairdresser I enjoyed hearing many people’s stories , at one point my clients and my father’s story intersected . My client worked on the Manhattan Project and my father was involved in Operation Hardtack 1958. While looking into my fathers exposure I found so many other peoples stories that resonated with me. In 2016 I began researching the nuclear tests and the after effects . I looked into genetics and found a research group working on radiation specific research. I negotiated 350 genetic tests for Atomic Veterans, the number of members of the FB group at the time. Being new to advocacy at that time , it was difficult to bring that campaign to it’s full potential, not really knowing any of the veterans yet. It was an incredible learning experience , the men involved spent a lot of time with me explaining and answering questions on ionizing radiation and genetics, breaks and repairs. I moved on to television media , putting together a story on Atomic Veterans and Toxic Veterans and pitching it to my local station. I asked for local volunteers and 2 men stepped forward. It was aired from two staions covering Northern Ca. . I enjoy putting the projects together and then stepping back giving others the light. I started an email campaign to work on affecting change. After finding Victoria’s story and the Atomic Cleanup Veterans stories, that is where I focused my emails and support of their legislation. To my surprise I received a response from former President Obama’s White House and the DC Va office offering to help Victoria, who I had never met. I first had to explain to Victoria I wasn’t a crazed FB stalker and the information I was giving her was legitimate. The feeling that my little campagn actually worked was proof to me ,one person and many small actions can make a difference . Victoria and I ,it turned out had similar passions and feelings about how to help others in our radiation community, I love to speak to people, listen to their stories, and speak about Victoria and her incredible talents . I enjoy a dive into nuclear research past and present that is focused on the IR community, especially the focus on generational genetics. I feel genetics will be extremely valuable in mapping the effects of ionizing radiation in human beings, giving our community an opportunity to find ways to heal.