BOISE -- A Boise mother and son say they're gaining some momentum in the fight against childhood cancer.
This after a bill was introduced Wednesday on Capitol Hill by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, and co-sponsored Thursday by Sen. Mike Crapo.
The bill is called 'Trevor's Law,' and is named for Trevor Schaefer, a young cancer survivor who grew up in McCall. He says the proposed law will help get to the bottom of why certain areas see more instances of childhood cancer and other sickness.
Illness with a child can come out of nowhere, and it is a parent's worst nightmare, said Charlie Smith, Trevor's mother.
In 2002, then 13-year-old Trevorwas diagnosed with brain cancer. He was one of five brain cancer cases diagnosed in Valley County that year, something he says should have designated the county as a 'cancer cluster,' which means an abnormality in the number of cancer cases in an area.
The state was not very compassionate about the situation and wanting to help try to find out what happened, and why I had cancer, and why these other kids are getting cancer, said Schaefer.
However, Chris Johnson, an epidemiologist with the Cancer Data Registry of Idaho, said there's no significant difference between the number of cancer cases in Valley County and the rest of Idaho, or the nation. But Trevor says it's something that needs to be researched.
The community deserves to know if there's a problem in their neighborhood or their area that is causing children to get sick, said Schaefer.
So Schaefer and his mom took their fight to the national level. And on Wednesday,Boxer introduced'Trevor's Law.'
We have laws for sexual predators that are in a neighborhood, or a community, so why not have a law for a toxic predator? said Smith.
The legislation would provide funds to communities who suspect they could be in a disease cluster, and is designed to help federal and state agencies coordinate better to investigate the surrounding environment.
Whatever the possible contaminant could be, let's just take a look at it. Let's remedy that. Let's find out what's doing it, and fix it, said Smith.
It feels fantastic. It's been a long road. It's been three years that we've been working on this, said Schaefer. It feels great to feel like we're finally gaining some momentum in the fight against childhood cancer.
Smithsaid they were hoping for support from Idaho's senators and they gotit. Crapo tells KTVB that he is signing on as the lead Republican co-sponsor, and that action on the bill is expected likely next year.
KTVB also contacted Sen. Jim Risch. He said he needed a few more specifics on the bill before he commented.