Sandra Walsh

  • Role: Independent advocate
  • Contact Information: sandy.walsh@msn.com; 801-440-6654
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

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Sandra Walsh was born and raised in Parowan, Utah, a city exposed to very high levels of radiation exposure due to nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site. Sandra has had thyroid cancer and other radiation-related illnesses; her daughter has also had thyroid cancer; and she has lost three children at a very young age due to blood, heart, and lung diseases caused by radiation exposure. Since developing cancer, she has dedicated much of her life to helping other downwinders receive compensation through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), raising awareness of these issues, and advocating for improved compensation.

Successes

  • Personally helping roughly 5000 individuals receive compensation through RECA
  • Garnering widespread media and public attention on the issue, in TV, print, radio, and online media, appearing in documentaries and TV commercials, and more. 
  • Publishing “Downwind: A Legacy of Suffering,” an autobiographical account of her and her family’s exposure to radioactive fallout and the health consequences.
  • Consistent advocacy with Utah members of Congress on these issues, including testifying in front of the National Academies of Science in 2004 in Salt Lake City.

Current Projects

  • Continuing to help downwinders apply for compensation by helping to navigate the process, compile documentation, and follow up with the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program housed in the Department of Justice on claims. 
  • Educating the Utah Congressional delegation about downwinder issues, and building relationships with new members of Congress. Currently working to connect with Senator Mitt Romney’s office. 
  • Supporting S.947 and H.R.3783, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019, to extend RECA and expand the communities eligible for compensation.

Opportunities for Collaboration

  • Helping to raise awareness of downwinders and bring more attention to Sandra’s work, so that she can connect with more downwinders in need of assistance. 
  • Helping to build connections with and educate members of Congress in Utah and elsewhere about these issues. 
  • Supporting advocacy on the RECA expansion bill, S.947/H.R. 3783. 
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