When June Leahy's daughter first started playing soccer on artificial turf, she thought it was a big improvement over the rocky, muddy dirt fields where the talented goalie had been honing her skills since kindergarten.
"We certainly didn't think that it was harmful because we never questioned what was in it, what the make of it was," Leahy says. "It was just a new surface that had a bit of cushioning."
But by 2008, Leahy and her daughter, Austen Everett, had questions about the synthetic materials. The University of Miami athlete had just been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma — and was learning about three other goalies who had also fallen ill.
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Everett died from the cancer in 2012. Her grieving mother said it was soon after that, as she found out about even more sick players, that she came to believe that turf was the culprit.
"I realized, 'Oh my God, the thing that she loved most probably killed her,'" Leahy said. "And that was hard."
Leahy says that since her daughter's death, she still hasn't gotten enough answers — or action from lawmakers and regulators.