WAYCROSS, Ga. -- In Waycross, there isn't a location you can go and not hear the loud sound of the trains moving back and forth. But there's a deafening silence surrounding why there are so many cancer cases cropping up in the community.
"All our kids were born in Waycross," says Ellen Walker.
The Walkers now live in Hoboken in an adjacent county, but they're still a part of what they believe is a "cancer cluster." Asked Walker, "How could they all be getting this kind of cancer?"
Last summer, four children in and around the Waycross community were diagnosed with a rare cancer -- all within a two-month period. Gage Walker, 5, is one of those cases.
"He has lost a lot of weight," said Walker. "He is so skinny and pale."
Walker is Gage's grandmother and custodial parent. When the doctor told her Gage has rhaddomyosarcoma, she was puzzled. "I said, 'What is that?'" she told First Coast News.
This form of cancer is rare. Only 350 new cases are diagnosed a year in the U.S. Yet in Waycross alone there were three cases within 60 days.
"The cancer was so big you could see it and feel it," said Walker. "It was in his stomach."
Gage goes to Savannah every Wednesday for chemotherapy and will continue the treatment until June.
"His growth is messed up," Walker said. "And they said he may never be able to have children."
In 2014, a Georgia Water Coalition report stated the childhood cancer rate in Waycross was higher than the state average.
"Since all these kids are getting it, I think it has got to be something to do with the air and the water," said Walker. "So our water has a bad smell to it when you turn it on."
For the past three years, Waycross residents have been asking why there are so many cancers in our community. In March, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will being looking for answers to residents' questions.
Residents believe the source of the disease is environmental because of the number of industrial companies in the area. No connections have ever been made between the illness and any of the companies present.
Residents are heartbroken, worried and fearful. They say they're tired of children dying from cancer and they're tired of going to the cemetery.
Federal investigators plan to evaluate sites involving CSX property and Atlanta Gas and Light, but there are no plans to investigate the EPA's Superfund Seven Out site.
"I'd like to see the water tested, the air, the dirt," said Walker.
Gage is doing well, but the days he has to endure chemotherapy are difficult. The 5-year-old knows he has cancer, but he doesn't know the seriousness of his sickness. "No kid should have to go through what he's been through," said Walker.
Until there is an identified cause of the cancers, Walker said they won't feel completely safe in their community.
"My other grandson knows," said Walker. "It makes you wonder if he's get sick too."