Cancer survivor advocates for genetic testing protection bill

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – A York County mom and cancer survivor, spoke in front of lawmakers in Columbia to push for House Bill 4218 to pass which would protect those who need genetic testing.

Kelly Kashmer is the founder and executive director of the non-profit Nothing Pink. Nothing Pink raises awareness for genetic testing and provides support for women facing hereditary breast and gynecological cancer.

Kashmer says currently in South Carolina if a person gets genetic testing like the BRCA Gene Testing for breast and ovarian cancers and results would come back positive, their life insurance, long term care policies, and or disability insurance could drop or their coverage could be denied. Another example is genetic testing for ALS. ALS and other diseases require genetic testing for diagnosis and treatments.

She says her life insurance was even canceled after her cancer diagnosis which came two weeks after testing positive for BRCA2.

Kashmer recently went to Columbia to speak in front of Lawmakers to show support for House Bill 4218 that would provide protections for those needing genetic testing. Currently the bill is in a subcommittee.

South Carolina Representative Tommy Pope is the sponsor of the bill, and says it will go before another subcommittee this week.

In the early 2000’s congress passed a bill called the Gina Act that prohibited discrimination based on genetic factors from employment and health insurance, but did not include life insurance, long term care plans, and disability insurance, which proposed House Bill 4218 would include.

The state of Florida has passed a similar bill.

Kashmer plans to continue to speak with South Carolina Representatives about the importance of the bill.

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