We grew up believing that everyone had to deal with asthma. Everyone had to use a nebulizer just to breathe, or had a history of lung disease in their family, right? But as we got older, we realized these things were not normal. This is the harsh reality nearly every child in Chicago’s predominantly Black and Latino Southeast Side has to face. We are raised believing factories are a part of everyday life, harsh smells are unavoidable, and having toxic metals in your backyard soil is typical. The Southeast Side is a community where polluting industries are more common than playgrounds, and the rate of lung cancer is over 50% per 100,000 people .

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Photo Credit: Oscar Sanchez