Two cities, still no answers to cause of rare eye cancer

Rare eye cancer cases in Alabama

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/CBS News) - On Monday, CBS This Morning aired a story highlighting four women who have all been diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer, Ocular Melanoma.

The four women attended Auburn University in Alabama and experts in the area are reporting more than two dozen patients who have been diagnosed.

It is the same form of cancer that has popped up in north Mecklenburg county. Eighteen cases have been reported, mostly in young females with light-colored eyes.

"It is hard to see their reactions because it is like looking in a mirror a little bit," said Jessica Boesmiller, who was diagnosed with the cancer last year.

Boesmiller, from Cornelius, lost her right eye days before giving birth to twins. When she heard the stories of these four women from Auburn, she was able to relate.

"I didn't know anyone before this happened to me that had this disease. For them to say, 'I have two friends with this already, that has to be crazy," said Boesmiller. "You know, they were probably in more similar places at the same time. Hopefully, we can figure out what is common with us and here in Huntersville."

The results of study completed in north Mecklenburg revealed no concrete cause of the cancer. A similar study may be conducted in Auburn with the support of the state legislature.

"There are things in that study recently that are elevated and I do believe those deserve further attention," said Boesmiller.

Boesmiller had to wipe some tears away while watching the story because she says she can relate so much.

"Every three months when I go get scanned I have anxiety around whether it is going to show up something. Is this the time that they discover that it has traveled to my liver or to my brain?," said Boesmiller.

A regional commission in north Mecklenburg is in the process of being created to figure out the next steps to study the cause or connections.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. CBS News contributed to this report. All rights reserved.