When he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he felt his whole world falling apart. And then, just a few days later, the unthinkable happened: his sister got diagnosed with the same thing. And then his wife.
What in the world was going on? It seemed like some sort of curse. He decided to start an investigation. He soon discovered the horrifying truth: the old high school where he had studied years ago was the cause.
Al Lupiano, aged 47, has been a resident of New Jersey for his whole life. He’s a mechanic in the historic neighborhood of Newark, where he lives with his wife today.
He was happy with his life: he had never moved out of Jersey, and he didn’t need to. He had met his wife in high school; they married shortly after graduation and lived happily from then on. They couldn’t imagine their peace would soon be threatened by unfathomable forces.
It started all of a sudden: one day, out of nowhere, Lupiano started feeling some weird symptoms that he couldn’t explain at all.
He would get really bad headaches, he would get dizzy sometimes, he would forget things, and it became almost impossible for him to focus at work. He didn’t have a clue about what could have caused all that; so he decided to go to his doctor.
The doctor asked him about his habits, about any recent lifestyle changes, about stress levels; in other words, the usual. But there didn’t seem to be anything that could explain Lupiano’s sudden symptoms.
He didn’t drink, smoke, or even use over-the-counter medication. As far as mental health, he had been as happy as he could be up until then. So there didn’t seem to be any obvious explanation of what was going on.
So the doctor decided that the best option would be to send Lupiano to a neurologist. Maybe they would be able to find out what was wrong with Lupiano’s brain.
So he went to visit the neurologist. They put him through all sorts of tests, and they finally decided to do an MRI scan on him to see if they could detect something abnormal. And when the results came, the news hit Lupiano like a truck.
He had a brain tumor. It had been sitting there for some weeks now; hopefully, it wouldn’t be too late to start the treatment.
Lupiano and his family were devastated when they heard the news. All they could do now was pray and hope for the best. Quickly, Lupiano put himself in the hands of the doctors. But shortly after, something else happened; his misfortunes were far from over.
Just a few days after his diagnosis, Lupiano’s wife started experiencing the same symptoms that he had suffered in the beginning. The couple started fearing the worse.
But could it be possible? It wasn’t like brain tumors were infectious. What were the chances of them getting the same diagnosis at the same time? This time, Lupiano’s wife went straight to the neurologist.
She had a brain tumor too! The whole situation felt like a nightmare. And just a few weeks later, Lupiano’s sister started feeling ill too, and they found a tumor in her brain as well.
That couldn’t be happening. What was going on? It seemed like a curse or a cruel joke from the universe. That’s when Lupiano started looking for patterns. What could have caused all his family to get simultaneous brain tumors?
As far as he knew, there were no nuclear plants around the area; he thought about the possibility of a nuclear bomb being detonated near their place years ago.
He went to the local library and consulted dozens of books and records, but he didn’t find anything. And suddenly, he thought of something that he, his wife, and his sister had in common.
The three of them had attended the same high school years ago. That could have been irrelevant, but Lupiano had a gut feeling that it wasn’t.
He didn’t know where to start to follow through with it; but finally, he came up with an idea. He was resolved to get to the bottom of the issue. He had to find out the truth.
He started a Facebook page for alumni of that old high school. Hundreds of people joined, and the first thing Lupiano did was post a question.
He asked if any of the people who had studied in that high school during the 80s, as he did, had been diagnosed with brain tumors. And soon enough, he started getting responses.
Apparently, dozens of alumni had been diagnosed with brain tumors in the last few years! It was really uncanny for Lupiano to see that he and his family weren’t the only ones.
Now, the question was clearer: there seemed to be something about that old high school. Lupiano was wondering what his next step would be when he received an unexpected phone call.
It was the high school’s principal. She had seen Lupiano’s page on Facebook, and she was concerned about what was going on. Lupiano told her that he knew as much as everyone else: apparently, 94 alumni from that high school had brain tumors.
The principal told him that he would do everything he could to help with any investigation on the matter. Some days later, the two of them came up with a response to the problem.
They contacted the state Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. They told them all they knew about the case.
Shortly afterward, an environmental engineering firm agreed to collaborate with the authorities to find out the whole truth about the issue.
“What I find alarming is there’s truly only one environmental link to primary brain tumors, and that’s ionizing radiation. It’s not contaminated water. It’s not air. It’s not something in the soil,” Lupiano told the press. “It’s not something done to us due to bad habits.”
As of today, people in New Jersey are still waiting for the investigation results. “We’re just going to wait to find out. Obviously, everyone’s praying and hoping for the best,” another alumnus told the reporters.