They called her crazy, money-grubbing, irrational, greedy and obsessive. And that was the folks who were being nice. The folks who didn't like her called her much worse, or didn't call her back at all. But that didn't stop Tricia Krause -- a single mom of three from Orland Park, Ill., -- from finding out what, and who
, was responsible for the pollution that led to two of her children's illnesses.
In 1999, Krause had already been dealing with her son's leukemia for five years when her eldest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Krause was shocked, angry and above all suspicious. How could all of this happen in one family, she thought? Looking around, she says she began to see cancer everywhere. Her babysitter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. There were bald chemotherapy patients sitting in the pews at her church. Everybody she met had a cancer story.
She decided that it simply couldn't be a coincidence and began her search for the culprit. Ten years and countless hours of research later, Krause had finally found her culprit. It turns out, in the nearby town of Crestwood, Ill., where the family lived from 1987 to 1996, officials secretly and knowingly pumped water from a toxic well into families' homes for 20 years.
Whether or not the pollution is directly responsible for her children's illnesses (they are both in recovery today) it is still too soon to tell. But one thing is certain -- no one thinks Tricia Kraus is crazy anymore.