On Monday, July 23, DeWayne “Lee” Johnson” took the stand before a courtroom crowded with journalists and members of the public following the Johnson vs. Monsanto trial.
Johnson recalled life before his cancer diagnosis. He described the rigorous work ethic that he learned at his first job as a kitchen staffer at Applebee’s and how he carried those lessons to his job as school groundskeeper.
Without ever sounding boastful, he described the series of promotions that rewarded his reliability, competence and hard work. Following their marriage, Johnson’s life orbited around Araceli and their two sons. He attended every practice and worked Ali’s football games as a linesman moving the first down chains.
But then, the hardworking school groundskeeper was diagnosed with cancer, which he says was caused by Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller.
Following his diagnosis, Lee tried to hide his pain from his family, but the tragedy, the loneliness, fear and his agony at all those losses sometimes overwhelmed him. He told the jury:
“I’m trying to show my kids an example of how to deal with things and crying is not going to help you, some things are uncontrollable. But I’m raising two little boys, so I’m teaching them to deal with pain and learn to deal with it and to deal with a situation if it comes to you. And sitting around sorrowful and crying is not going to help.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. continues his daily coverage of the Monsanto Trial.