"Childhood cancer research
Several proposed constitutional amendments await consideration in the Legislature, including one to require that at least 5 percent of earnings from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust that are now directed to medical research be used for childhood cancer research. That measure is authored by Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, who understands this issue more than most. At age 8, Nelson's daughter Grace was diagnosed with an advanced stage Wilms' tumor, a rare type of kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Grace successfully completed treatment in September. Nelson said TSET funding for child cancer research could enable Oklahoma researchers to also draw additional funding from outside the state, augmenting the positive impact. We've criticized prior proposals that diverted tobacco settlement money from the TSET fund for nonhealth needs. In contrast, Nelson's plan would use state health funding for health needs, and deserves serious consideration."