(The Center Square) – A new law in Illinois aims to help kids with cancer find the right treatment.
Cal’s Law provides children diagnosed with cancer greater access to DNA sequencing testing, which is offered less frequently to children than adults.
It is named after Cal Sutter, a South Elgin Little League All-Star diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 2005. Sutter died a year later.
Stacy Wahlberg, Cal’s stepmother and co-founder of the pediatric cancer nonprofit Cal’s Angels, said the DNA testing is a big boost to treating cancer.
“It does give them information on different clinical trials that are happening that they could benefit from,” Wahlberg said.
House Bill 2109 was introduced by state Rep. Seth Lewis, R-Bartlett, and amends the Illinois Insurance Code to require coverage for comprehensive cancer testing and testing of blood or constitutional tissues for cancer predisposition testing.
Wahlberg said the law was born after Olivia Sergot, a “Cal’s kid” and pediatric cancer patient was put through invasive surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation that would never cure her.
“The approved legislation is an incredible tribute to Cal and a natural extension of the work we do at Cal’s Angels,” Wahlberg said. “We believe that by providing greater access to diagnostic testing for kids with cancer, lives can be saved.”