But what caused it?
More than 100 Colonia High School alumni are looking for answers about what made them all come down with the same illness. The New Jersey High School is under scrutiny as it has been realized that an unprecedented amount of graduates have all come down with rare forms of brain tumors and cancer.
It took years to make this connection, but when a Facebook post on the subject was started back in March, the pieces all began coming together.
Al Lupiano, who fought against a very rare brain tumor back in 1999, has already seen two more cases of rare brain tumors in his own family. Last summer, his wife, and sister (who has since passed away) were both diagnosed with brain cancer. But they're not the only ones. Lupiano has been one of the alumni spearheading the attempt to get answers.
Colonia High School opened in 1967, but most of those who have come forward as having brain tumors graduated between 1975-2000. While this feels urgent to many, it has been a struggle to get the school to act with speed. But thanks to a TikTok that spread to millions in just 24 hours, there is now quite a bit of press around this story.
While no definitive answers have come to light yet, experts are currently working on understanding the possible link between Colonia High School's campus and the 100+ brain tumors. Environmental testing is already underway, but campus remains open. Meanwhile, many students have reservations about being on campus.
While the type of tumors experienced by the alumni are incredibly rare overall, those statistics go out the window when people are exposed to certain factors.
Thanks to this WebMD-generation of TikTok content creators, many creative suggestions have been brought to the table as to what may have caused this spike in brain tumors. Some ideas that have been suggested include asbestos, cellphone towers, and even mold. While many ideas are being tested by professional, it looks like ionizing radiation is a likely culprit.
The alumni and current students of Colonia High School are anxious awaiting answers, and thanks in part to TikTok, so is the rest of the world.