Trash on Detroit street interferes with cancer patient's treatment

Local 4 helps cancer patient get trash cleared on Prevost Street

By Will Jones - Reporter

DETROIT - James Lawson lives on a street on Detroit's west side littered with junk.

"When I call the city week after week after week, everybody passes the blames onto someone else," Lawson said.

He moved to Prevost Street six weeks ago. He needed a cheaper place after he was diagnosed with esophageal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. That decision is now costing him his health.

Lawson relies on a cab to get to his appointments at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. The institute works with a transportation company to provide rides for patients who need them.

Lawson doesn't drive.

"When I first moved in, the snow and the trash were so bad the vehicles couldn't get through," he said.

He now has to meet his cabs a couple of blocks away from his house.

"It makes it frustrating when I am going through chemo and getting sick everyday and having to walk blocks for my healthcare treatment," Lawson said.

He turned to Local 4 to get help. We took his concerns to the city.

Alexis Wiley, the spokesperson for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, says James doesn't deserve to be in that situation. The city sent a dump truck out to clean up his street.

"He needs to be able to get where he's got to go," Wiley said. "And people coming dumping trash on his street is completely unacceptable."

We also contacted Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. A spokesperson says they were not aware of the problem and they're working with the patient to resolve the issue with the transportation company.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.