Burnsville resident Kim Cesarek was the guest of U.S. Rep. Angie Craig. D-Eagan, at President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4.

Craig met Kim and her husband, Dustin Cesarek, during her health care listening tour last year.

Kim Cesarek was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 33, learning of her disease when her daughter was 8 months old. She has lived for the last seven years through harsh treatments and remains focused on the possibility of the next life-saving drug that will keep her living or perhaps one day cure her disease.

“Kim has fought a merciless disease for the past seven years that has challenged and tested her and her family in more ways than most of us will ever experience,” Craig said in a statement. “We must protect health care for folks with pre-existing conditions and ensure that lifetime limits on health coverage are truly a permanent feature of the past. We have much work left to do to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Minnesotans, but we can’t go back to the way things used to be.”

Craig is a co-sponsor of several bills to increase insurance coverage, screenings and research for people diagnosed with cancer, including the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, a bipartisan bill that would ensure cancer patients receive equal coverage for treatment across insurance plans, and the EARLY Act, which would reauthorize funding for breast cancer awareness outreach to young and higher-risk women.

She has signed numerous bipartisan letters to boost cancer research, including requested increases for the National Institutes of Health ($41.6 billion) and National Cancer Institute. Craig is a supporter of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs at the Department of Defense and joined with many of her colleagues to support funding for continued research into peer-reviewed breast, lung, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

Craig has written or sponsored 60 bills to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, including the State Premium Reduction Act, which would lower the cost in the individual marketplace.

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