North Augusta woman one of many linking vaccines to autism

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

June 14, 2007

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---A national autism debate has hit close to home.

Today the federal government is hearing the first of nearly five thousand cases claiming there's a link between mercury found in vaccines and autism.

News 12 talked to a North Augusta woman who has no doubt about that.

From her North Augusta home, Maurine Meleck can listen daily to the landmark autism case being argued in a Washington, D.C. courtroom.

The Arizona-based Cedillo family is the first of nearly five thousand families to have their case heard in a federal courtroom. They allege their daughter Michelle's severe autism was caused by the mercury preservative thimerosal found in an MMR vaccine she got has a baby.

Meleck's nine-year-old grandson Joshua has a milder form of autism, but she too believes his autism was caused by a vaccine containing thimerosal that Joshua received as a baby.

"There's been no question in my mind for years," she said.

Meleck first began researching the connection back in 1999 when Joshua was diagnosed with autism as a two-year-old. That's when she says she found what she believes to be the problem.

"There's one thing they have in common, all of these children," she said. "The increase has just gone up, up, up, and it began with the increase of childhood vaccines."

While there is no scientific proof to date linking thimerosal and autism, Meleck and thousands of activists across the country believe they know the culprit.

"Mercury. Thimerisol has never been proven to be safe. It's the second most toxic element on this earth and we're injecting it into babies," Meleck said.

Meleck has spent close to half a million dollars on Joshua's care and vows she will keep fighting for him and children in future generations to come.

"These children deserve a chance. Families deserve a chance in court to prove their side," she said.

That first lawsuit now being heard in Washington could take several weeks to decide.


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  • by Tina Location: Fountain, CO on Jul 8, 2007 at 11:56 PM
    I have been reading and hearing what everyone has said. I myself have an Autistic son. He falls in the middle of the spectrum. He was severely delayed from the time he was born. He was 6wks premature. He spent a month in Denver Childrens Hospital, on all the different oxygen equipment you could think of. He came home on oxygen for another month. We started noticing major delays after he turned 12months. He wasn't anywhere close to doing what a 12month old would usually do. I spoke with his doc. and he started testing him for different things. My son didn't start walking until he was almost 3 yrs old. His biggest problem is flapping his hands, echolalia, and sensory integration problems. I bought it up to his doc. about Autism, I had seen a commercial on it. So when he turned 3, I took him back to Denver and he was evaluated by a team of 5 specailty docs., inturn saying he indeed is Autistic. I'm not sure if the vaccines are to blame, or the fact that my water broke completely @ 31wks and was not allowed to have him until almost 34wks, having ultra-sounds almost every single day. I read that having ultra-sounds can have some kind of cause for Autism also. He may not be the worst, but me and my family would not change him for anything. Who knows, maybe he wouldn't have a nac for #'s, shapes, colors, and maybe not be a very happy little boy and very lovable. I just thank God everyday for my son, and I know he wouldn't have given me more than I can handle. But I do want to know more about Autism.
  • by Karla Location: Martinez on Jun 18, 2007 at 02:43 PM
    What are the dates this vaccine was used. I heard they quit using it after a certain time. My 6yr old daughter has Asbergers (form of autism) There is no autism in either side of our families and were really surprised by this. Now that this is all coming out. I join in on wondering if it was the vaccine. There is no other reason I know of why she would be like this....
  • by Andrea Location: Canton, Ohio on Jun 17, 2007 at 12:08 PM
    Congratulations to Ms. Melleck for her persistence in raising the awareness. While many state no proof exists linking Thimersol to autism, none have been able to prove with data that is does not cause autism. That is really the true danger! David Kirby offers compelling evidence that Thimerisol was and is the real threat. The other side has consistently denied facts presented in FDA reports... Senator Dan Burton on C-Span stated it beautiflly and so does "Evidence of Harm". There is truly enough data to make the argument for the rise in autism.. atleast for the truly scientific mind.
  • by Maurine Location: SC on Jun 15, 2007 at 08:18 PM
    There is lots of science on the connection side. Unfortunately, most of the information you read about is from government controlled agencies and big pharma. The cdc runs the vaccine program, determines what ones to give and is the agency that tests the safety of them. We need an independent agency to do the safety studies. There are too many conflicts of interest in the gov't agencies-the same people approving vaccines-making money off of them. No room to write all the various conflicts of interest. For some info on good scientific studies google Brubacher, Mark Geier and Boyd Haley to name a few.
  • by Paula Location: Evan, GA on Jun 15, 2007 at 09:40 AM
    It is black and white, I have chelated with my son, over 14 vitamins,minerals and nutrietns including digestive enzymes, a gluten casein free diet, 30 hours a week of speech/OT/ABA and 3 hrs week hyperbarics chamber. Now doctors consider him speech delay. These kids can recover,and the government should foot the bill! Our children have been poisoned, bottomline it is criminal!
  • by Jim Location: CA on Jun 14, 2007 at 05:14 PM
    Mike, << "Would 7 hours of testimony by a pediatric gastrointestologist who treats kids be considered evidence." >> Well, i don't know. It would depend on whether anything he said actually supported the idea that vaccines can cause autism, wouldn't you think? Forgive me for not seeing how the fact that he testified for seven hours has any relevancy.
  • by Nancy Location: California on Jun 14, 2007 at 03:51 PM
    In holding side-by-side two graph charts that clearly show an increase in vaccines with a parallel rise in autism spectrum diagnoses (as well reading the fraudulent study results with ridiculous conclusions like too much TV is watched, fathers are old, parents have "tried too hard" to become pregnant) there is simply not a drop of doubt in my mind that the cause of autism is the injecting of toxic mercury into babies and toddlers. Thimerosal still remains in many vaccines, and the powers that be who use the phrase "only trace amounts" are not fooling anyone. Is that supposed to calm concerned new parents, who are wisely seeking information.? Meanwhile, I applaud Maurine Meleck for her continued care and fight for her grandson, as well as for the large autism community.
  • by Gloria Location: Augusta on Jun 14, 2007 at 02:27 PM
    Maurine Meleck's strong spirit and determination are so commendable. She is fighting for her grandson's recovery, using every tool at her command. We wish her and Joshua well.
  • by Maurine Location: South carolina on Jun 14, 2007 at 01:18 PM
    Thimerosal is still not out of all childhood vaccines contrary to what someone has just posted. In 1999 a recommendation was made to drug companies to remove the thimerosal and that was all. It was slowly removed but many vials still left on shelves wre being used right up until 2006. The flu vaccine recommended for 6 month olds has 25-50 micrograms of thimerosal(mercury). Also mercury is still used in the processing of vaccines and thus most still contain trace amounts, which some children cannot even handle.
  • by Don Location: GA on Jun 14, 2007 at 01:12 PM
    One doesn't need a phd to determine that 31 vaccines before 18 months of age would have a negative on a developing baby...(with our without a preservative!!) When they first started adding all these vaccines to the schedule cases of ADHD began to skyrocket. Then as even more vaccines we started to see increases in Autism diagnosis. Now the CDC admits that 1 in 150 kids has Autism. Sorry, but with our without the preservative is just too risky. No other countries have the mandatory vaccines like we do. Best of luck to the families involved
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