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Eye On Boise

Bill to investigate cancer clusters heads to president’s desk; ‘Trevor’s Law’ sponsored by Sens. Crapo, Boxer

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo announced last night that he’s secured final passage of “Trevor’s Law,” legislation named for a young Boise man who survived brain cancer, aimed at tracking childhood and adult cancer clusters nationwide. The bill, which passed the Senate last night on a unanimous voice vote as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act reform bill, now heads to the president’s desk, where President Obama is expected to sign it; it passed the House on May 24 on a 403-12 vote.

“The passage of Trevor’s Law is a significant milestone in how cancer clusters will be identified, monitored and treated in the United States,” Crapo said in a statement.  “Every American, directly or indirectly, has been affected in some form by cancer, and this legislation is another tool to continue fighting against this disease.  Further, the passage of Trevor’s Law is a testament to the determination and commitment of many people – including Trevor Schaefer and his mother, Charlie Smith – in never giving up to turn their plans into a law that will benefit everyone across America.”

Trevor Schaefer was just 13 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. His mother and Susan Rosser brought cancer cluster legislation to Crapo, who also is a cancer survivor, in 2010; in 2011, Crapo joined Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to introduce the first version of the bill. In 2013, hearings were held on it, and Trevor joined activist Erin Brockovich and others to testify in favor of it.

In a statement, Trevor Schaefer, now 27, said, “After seven long years of fighting for environmental justice, the voices of all of our children and communities have been heard. We will now be able to more effectively and efficiently identify cancer clusters throughout the United States and uncover why such cancer clusters exists.”

His mom, Charlie Smith of Boise, said, “I am so proud of my son Trevor for his brave fight to beat back brain cancer and his unwavering belief that good things can happen in politics. I am also eternally grateful to Senators Boxer and Crapo and their staffs, for their tenacious work to make this law a reality.”

The bill establishes a new federal program to recognize and investigate cancer clusters, in cooperation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and state health departments, universities, other federal agencies and the public.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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