Young Idaho cancer survivor is inspiration for federal legislation

Young Idaho cancer survivor is inspiration for federal legislation

Credit: Mike di Donato

Young Idaho cancer survivor is inspiration for federal legislation

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by Nishi Gupta, KTVB.com

KREM.com

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 25 at 10:39 PM

BOISE -- In Washington D.C. Tuesday, legislation was introduced that was inspired by a 21-year-old cancer survivor from Garden City.

The young man, Trevor Schaefer, was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 13. Since then, he and his mother have fought for legislation that could help reduce cases of childhood disease, especially cancer.

Now it looks like their fight will be taken up by the United States Senate.

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and California Senator Barbara Boxer co-sponsored Trevor's Law which allows for federal investigation of clusters, or areas with abnormally high cases of disease.

"It's amazing where life goes. No, I never envisioned this in my wildest dreams to get to this point and this level," Schaefer said of the senators introducing the bill.

The focus would be to find possible causes of illness: like environmental pollutants and toxic substances.

"Getting recognition for the possible environmental contaminants that we live with everyday -- it's great to finally receive that recognition," he said.

Schaefer grew up in Valley County Idaho, where he believes toxins in the environment caused his brain cancer.

He's now cancer-free, but his fight to end cancer is far from over.

He and his mom, Charlie Smith, call Trevor's Law a victory for children and their parents.

"Very positive that everyone will jump on board and we are going to see a very positive outcome," Schaefer said.

"I don't want to see other parents grow through this, and fortunately I'm in the select few whose child survived," Smith said. "I want other parents to know that we're there for them, and we're going to try to do something to fight this."

The next step is it will be assigned to a Senate committee, likely the Environment and Public Works committee.

Trevor's Law was introduced last year but didn't make it out of committee.
 

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