SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — A new law in Illinois aims to help children with cancer find the right treatment.
Cal’s Law offers children with cancer greater access to DNA sequencing tests, which are offered less often to children than to adults.
It is named after Cal Sutter, a South Elgin Little League All-Star who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2005. Sutter died a year later.
Stacy Wahlberg, Cal’s stepmother and co-founder of the childhood cancer nonprofit Cal’s Angels, said the DNA testing is a big boost to cancer treatment.
“It gives them information about various clinical trials that are taking place that they could benefit from,” Wahlberg said.
House Bill 2109 was introduced by State Representative Seth Lewis, R-Bartlett, and amends the Illinois Insurance Code to require coverage for comprehensive cancer testing and the testing of blood or constitutional tissues for cancer predisposition testing.
Wahlberg said the law was born after Olivia Sergot, a “Cal’s child” and pediatric cancer patient, underwent invasive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation that would never cure her.
“The legislation passed is an incredible tribute to Cal and a natural extension of the work we do at Cal’s Angels,” Wahlberg said. “We believe lives could be saved by increasing access to diagnostic tests for children with cancer.”