Update on local veteran battling pancreatic cancer due to burn pits

Update on local veteran battling cancer

This past August, News Channel 3's John White spoke with Jennifer Kepner, a Cathedral City woman who served in Iraq now battling pancreatic cancer.

Kepner believes her cancer was caused by the pollution from a "burn pit" on base.

Watch our I-Team investigation: Local veteran blames cancer on burn pits

John White caught with Kepner, who is now one of the subjects of a documentary on stories like hers. He also spoke with Greg Lovett, one of the film's producers, to learn more about the documentary "Delay, Deny, Hope You Die."

"There are alternatives, but burn pits are the easiest and the cheapest and that's why they keep doing it," Lovett said. "There are a lot of people who have cancer, including Brian Alvarado, who's from Long Beach, they never really thought about the consequences of the burn pits." 

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Alvarado's story is just one of many that Lovett shares in his film, like Kepner's.

Kepner remembers when she realized the what may have caused her cancer.

"It was my very first oncologist I went to who brought it to my attention, and the light bulb went off because I have no family history," Kepner said.

Since we first shared Kepner's story, she has been taken out of a clinical trial as it wasn't helping her.

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Kepner said the Department of Veterans Affairs has approved her disability claimed, which was originally denied.

As we reported in our first story, the Department of Defense continues to deny a connection between the burn pits and cancer. The DOD admitted that burn pits are still in use in some areas of Iraq and Syria.

"I'm hoping with this film, that we can create awareness and knowledge and hopefully change," Lovett said.

There will be a screening of the documentary "Delay, Deny, Hope You Die." this Monday at 7:30 pm at the Rave Cinema Baldwin Hills in Crenshaw Plaza on 4020 Marlton Ave in Los Angeles.

Some tickets still available at here.

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