FLOWER MOUND ― Another Flower Mound family whose child is sick with leukemia shared their concerns with News 8.

Steve and Sheri Schmidt said they have more questions than answers as to how their four-year-old daughter got cancer, which is why the couple - along with another family - asked the Texas Department of Health Services to investigate.

Meg Schmidt was diagnosed with leukemia in November of 2008. Her parents started asking questions after they learned of four other children and two adults who also have leukemia. All six patients live within a four-square mile area in Flower Mound.

It's alarming, Mrs. Schmidt said. It's disturbing because, certainly, when you find out about your own diagnosis it's the worst day in the world.

Meg's mother said she is hopeful the state study will answer whether there is a link to gas exploration in the area and cancer.

When you start connecting the dots and you see the families that you see at the clinic and have these similarities that they either lived by a drilling facility or they have it in their back yard and you start putting connections together, you start to wonder, 'Well, maybe there is something to this,' she said.

Flower Mound town officials said they share the families concerns and asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct air quality tests at two different sites in the town.

I've lost a child and I know the devastating effects a childhood illness can do to a family, said Mayor Jody Smith. So, as a council, we're very concerned to get to the bottom of this.

Texas health officials said they'll talk with the families and compare statewide leukemia cases against Flower Mound cases between 1998 and 2007. The agency said it's not the first time they've looked into the possibility of a cancer cluster in the town.

We did one in 2008 that looked at whether there might be a higher incidence of thyroid cancer and we found, based on our statistical analysis, that there was not a higher incidence of cancer there, said Allison Lowery, a Texas Department of Health Services spokeswoman.

Mrs. Schmidt said she just wants peace of mind.

We hope and pray that there isn't a correlation, she said. But, what if there is?

The company that's doing most of the gas exploration in Flower Mound, Williams Energy Services, said none of their wells or compressors are immediately adjacent to the areas of concern.

We certainly sympathize with these families and respect their desire for the health study, but we do not believe there is any linkage to what we operate, said Kelly Swan, a spokeswoman with the company.

Some parents are concerned the state health agency will only look at cases up to 2007. Some of their children were diagnosed with leukemia after that. The agency said that's the latest statistical data they have.


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