Herbicides - and Ryan's health
My family and I moved to Glen Ellyn in September, 2008. We live across the street from the Illinois Prairie Path. It is a beautiful area, one that my husband and I decided would be a wonderful place for our two children to grow up.
I am saddened to hear that ComEd is planning on using herbicides to kill more of the trees along the path, but not simply because of the desecration of the beauty and the detrimental effect to local wildlife. The health of our 30-month-old son could be seriously impacted by the spraying of those herbicides. Ryan was born with a rare lung disease. Discovered only in 2004, not much is known about this disease, including life expectancy. Many children born with this genetic disease die at birth. We were fortunate that our son has one normal gene while and the other has the mutation that causes his disease. Only half of Ryan's cells produce the protein that carries oxygen in the lungs. Because of this, Ryan was on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day for the first two years of his life. He couldn't be fed with a bottle, and is given nutrients and fluids through a gastric tube.
We are extremely fortunate how well Ryan has done. He has been weaned from his oxygen during the day and is now able to eat and drink orally. But we still take extra precautions with him, as simple colds and flus could severely impact his health.
We do not know what his future holds; he could continue to grow more healthy lung tissue or someday he could require a lung transplant. We would like to provide the healthiest of environments for Ryan and his twin sister Sophie to grow up in. I sincerely hope that you will consider the negative impact of spraying these herbicides.