Dorothy Green talks about her cancer

Steve Lopez visits in today's column with Dorothy Green, the longtime water activist and founder of Heal the Bay who is in hospice care for metastasized cancer. She is 79, and still deeply involved in water issues.

Dorothy Green was trying to be polite, but the founder of Heal the Bay made it quite clear that she wasn't terribly interested in talking about the things I had come to discuss in her Westwood home.


"It's part of living," she said, flicking away the question.

Her legacy?

"I don't look back, only forward."

Her deteriorating condition?

"It's interesting that cancer is what you want to talk about."


Though Green is clearly addled by painkillers and exhausted by her fight with cancer, so much so that she often pauses mid-sentence to steal the strength to continue, she immediately interrupted me when I mentioned California's water shortage.

"There is no water shortage," she said sharply

Her colleague Mark Gold, executive director of Heal the Bay, told Lopez: "This year, she had her spleen and kidney removed and showed up at our board meeting five days later. She has been the most influential water activist in California in the last 30 years."

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