Trevor's Law celebrates one year anniversary

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 00:19:40-04

In the cancer survivor plaza in Julia Davis Park, you'll see a pillar that reads 'make a commitment to do everything in your power to help yourself fight the disease'. That's what Trevor Schaefer does, but he isn't just helping himself fight the cancer, he is helping others with Trevor's Law.

"Trevor's law is cancer cluster legislation," explained Shaefer.

A cancer cluster is when a community develops cancer at a much higher rate than the national average. The legislation authorizes several federal agencies to partner with communities to help them investigate the causes of the cluster. 

The bill was inspired when Trevor himself was diagnosed with cancer at just 13-years-old.

"I grew up in Mccall, Idaho and the year I was diagnosed there were a total of five cases of brain cancer and that was high for a population of 1,700 residents," said Schaefer.

Wanting to find answers to the cluster, Shaefer's mother went to federal agencies but ultimately met a dead end. After successfully fighting the disease, Shaefer made it his mission to help others going through a similar experience, and his mission became a reality when one year ago  President Obama signed the bill into law. 

"We have made a lot of great progress and just having the bill signed into law was a huge step," said Schaefer.

Shaefer recently traveled to Indiana where he suspects a cancer cluster is occurring.

He is trying to make sure the community has the resources they need to stop the disease from sickening others.

Schaefer said things haven't been happening as fast as he would like with the cluster legislation since the new administration took office, but he is still working every day hoping that fewer people will have to go through what he went through.

"Trevor's law will help communities with hot spots prevent them from turning into raging fires," said Schaefer.