ICYMI: Boise cancer survivor’s effort to track cancer clusters signed into law

June 22, 2016

Washington, D.C. –

A national law with Idaho roots was signed into law Wednesday. The new law will to track cancer clusters and is named after Boise cancer survivor Trevor Schaefer.

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo sponsored the bill, which is called Trevor’s Law, and was included in the Toxic Substance Control Act. The reform bill was signed by President Barak Obama on Wednesday at the White House.

Schaefer was with his mother, Charlie Smith, and Susan Rosser of Trevor’s Trek Foundation at the signing of the legislation. The passage of the bill is a milestone for Schaefer’s seven-year effort to have childhood and adult cancer cluster be documented and tracked in Idaho and across the nation.

According to a news release, Crapo – a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee – worked with Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to write and include the Trevor’s Law language in the final compromise TSCA bill.

“Today’s bill signing proves again the power of one Idahoan, one American, to bring change that will benefit millions of people who could face cancer one day,” Crapo said, himself a cancer survivor who wrote language in the law. “Trevor’s Law is the first time we as a nation will document how cancer clusters will be identified, monitored and treated in the United States. Not only have we made history, we did it by Idahoans working together from the ground up, from Idaho to Washington, DC, and into law.”

Schaefer survived a diagnosis of brain cancer at age 13. He and his mother and Susan Rosser of Trevor’s Trek Foundation brought the first cancer cluster legislation to Crapo in 2010. Crapo and Boxer introduced the original bill in 2011 and similar legislation again in 2013, when Trevor joined cancer activist Erin Brockovich and others to testify before the committee in Washington, D.C.

“This is the last step to make this law official,” said Schaefer. “I am thrilled to finally get this to the finish line. The last step has now been taken to make this law final. Now, I am looking forward to seeing the language in the law gets implemented so that we can help our children and our communities.”

The TSCA legislation that Trevor’s Law was included in will provide increased review of environmental law with regard to chemicals and similar products. The TSCA law marks historic bipartisan agreement in itself. It is named in honor of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg.