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HARRISBURG – State Senator Andy Dinniman will hold a press conference in Harrisburg on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 5th in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Dinniman  will be joined by Paul Matthews of the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation to discuss legislation, including bills to improve access to potentially life-saving clinical trials and the related treatment for those suffering from cancer and other serious, terminal illnesses.

Paul, who started the foundation after losing his son, Eli, to childhood leukemia in 2011, has been a tireless advocate for children battling cancer and their families.

In addition, several doctors, families, and advocates have been invited to speak about their experiences.

The press conference is set for Wednesday, September 5th at 2 p.m. outside the Lt. Governor’s office, located at 200 Main Capitol Building.

In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Dinniman and Matthews worked with the Lt. Governor Mike Stack to have the state Capitol lit gold from September 1 to 7.

Two pieces of legislation that will be highlighted:

  • SB 572, “The bELIeve Act” (The Right to Try for Terminally Ill Children Act), calls for requiring insurance providers to cover potentially life-saving clinical trials and the related treatment for terminally ill children. This legislation was drafted in conjunction with Matthews after a child suffering from cancer was initially denied access to a potentially life-saving trial drug by their insurance providers because the treatment was out of network.
  • SB 576 – clarifies what is considered an inducement for a patient to participate in a cancer clinical trial. This legislation has been amended into HB 126 and is expected to pass the legislature this session.