The environmental engineering firm T+M Associates was contracted by Woodbridge Township after growing concerns about a possible link between the Central New Jersey school and brain cancer.
“My wife fought like crazy. At the time, medium lifespan for her type of tumor was 18 months. She made it five years,” said Jason Wisinski.
Wisinski lost his wife, Janice 10 years ago to an inoperable brain tumor called Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Her sister, Cheryl Black also died from brain cancer in 2015. They learned of their tumors just eight days apart. Janice was pregnant with her and Jason’s only child.
“My wife was awesome, and I think about her every day – I talk to her all the time,” Wisinski said.
Both sisters graduated from Colonia High School, just like Al Lupiano in 1989, his wife Michelle in 1991, and his sister, Angela Decillis in 1995. All three have been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Lupiano’s sister, Angela died on February 17 from Glioblastoma Multiforme or GBM.
The environmental scientist and industrial engineer picked up on a potential pattern.
“I had told my sister from the very beginning that there was too much of a coincidence that me, my wife and her all have the same tumor,” said Lupiano.
He started researching and made a public plea on Facebook to anyone from the school who was diagnosed with primary brain tumors.
He found a total of 104 former students and faculty – about half are cancerous.
“It’s alarming because there are just so many people with a tumor – malignant or benign, and it’s serious. We have to really take a look at it,” said Woodbridge Township Mayor John McCormac.
McCormac says last Saturday, environmentalists placed random canisters inside the school to collect air samples.
Some students are concerned.
“We’re just going to wait to find out. Obviously, everyone’s praying and hoping for the best,” said Colonia High School Junior, Julia Pagnozzi.
The environmental testing is expected to last a month. The school will remain open.
Mayor McCormac says the Environmental Protection Agency is now involved. Eyewitness News has reached out to them, and are waiting to hear back.
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