Another tragic death attributable to the Navy’s radioactive and toxic pollution on Treasure Island
by Carol Harvey
Just after his Jan. 13 birthday, on Feb. 8, 2021, 10-year-old Sammy Johnson was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive tumor at the base of his brain, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
Sam’s glioma gave him “terrible headaches,” nausea and memory loss. Facial weakness made it difficult for him to chew, swallow and talk. Sam was confined to a wheelchair.
Radiation exposure on former Naval Base Treasure Island, San Francisco, was a huge risk factor. During the 56 years that the Navy operated radiation schools on Treasure Island where Sam lived, it saturated the groundwater and soil with radioactive objects.
Nia Johnson, Sam’s mom, stopped working to take care of Sam full time.
Nia and Eric, Sam’s dad, searched everywhere for help, including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. They asked that Sam be admitted to trials at Duke and Stanford Universities.
On Tuesday, Nia informed the San Francisco Bay View newspaper that on Monday, Sept. 20, Sammy died in her arms. The family is devastated by the loss of their beloved only child and son.
Staff and San Francisco Bay View Newspaper readers – many of whom reached out with suggestions for help – are grieving and praying along with Sam’s mom and dad.
The family continues to need financial help to defray travel expenses. They would be very grateful to anyone who considers giving at this GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-sam-his-family-fight-for-his-life?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer.
Carol Harvey is a San Francisco political journalist specializing in human rights and civil rights. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.