Alum's cancer battle leads to "Lacee's Law," expanding screening coverage

Alum's cancer battle leads to "Lacee's Law," expanding screening coverage

Posted on Friday, September 11, 2020

Lacee Landrum and her family pause outside the state capitol on the day 'her' bill was signed into law.

For teacher Lacee Landrum ’13, April 2019 started a journey that would change her life—and the lives of women across the state of Georgia.

It was nine months after the birth of her son that Lacee, then 29, found a lump on her breast. Having a family history of breast cancer, she went to a doctor but said her concerns were rebuffed because of her age. When she found a second lump two months later, she went to another doctor who diagnosed her with triple-negative, stage 3 breast cancer. She would receive chemotherapy and radiation treatments and undergo a double mastectomy.

It was devastating news, and one of the people who would reach out to her during this difficult time was Trey Kelley, a friend since their childhood in Cedartown, Georgia, who is now a state representative. After asking what he could do to help, Lacee shared her frustration of not being taken seriously by her first doctor due to her age and said she felt younger women should have insurance coverage for breast cancer screenings.

Lacee and Rep. Kelley in the governor's office

Rep. Kelley went to work and spoke with her oncologist and nurse to gather information and their opinions—agreeing that the age limit should come down. Lacee and Rep. Kelley collaborated closely during the drafting of House Bill 1125, and he subsequently kept her in the loop as it made its way through revisions and onto the House floor.

Lacee and her family were present March 12 when the House, in its last session before recess, voted to send the bill to the Senate for approval. They couldn’t attend the Senate vote on June 29 because of COVID restrictions, but the bill passed and Lacee got to be involved in the most important step: She, her mother and fiancé stood by in the state Capitol on Aug. 5 and watched Gov. Brian Kemp sign HB1125 into law—“Lacee’s Law,” in fact.

“That was just amazing,” she said of the experience. “You always go on that field trip to the Capitol as a kid and you think that’s cool, but actually getting to stand in the governor’s office with him and talk to him, that was amazing.”

Exactly a month before she watched Gov. Kemp sign the law, she celebrated another milestone: She is cancer free. She is undergoing regular immunotherapy through the rest of the year to ensure her recovery and will have reconstructive surgery from her mastectomy.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp pauses with Lacee and her family after signing the bill into law

Effective Jan. 1, the law implements new provisions for those on state health insurance plans that provide for breast cancer screenings to anyone considered to have high risk, such as those with a family history. Previously, only those 35 and older were covered. Lacee hopes in the future that the state will consider expanding the requirement to private insurers, but it is already making an impact. She has a family friend recently diagnosed with cancer whose daughter can be screened when the law takes effect.

“Knowing it’s already helping women across the state, it’s just—I don’t even know how to describe it. ... It’s just a great feeling because I know that early detection is key to saving lives. So, the more that we can detect sooner, the better outcome we have for our women and men across the state.”

Campus notes

A dashboard that shows active COVID-19 cases is now included on the college’s coronavirus website. It will be updated every Friday.

Dr. Don Livingston

Dr. Don Livingston, Professor of Education, has been elected to serve the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators as its President-Elect for 2020-2021. Dr. Livingston previously led the Georgia Association of Colleges of Teacher Education as president as well as organized advocacy efforts as chair of its legislative committee. He also served the 23-member Georgia Association of Independent Colleges of Education as president for two separate terms.

Political Science Professor John A. Tures was a guest on Wisconsin Public Radio on August 31, talking about the political party conventions and the unfair allotment of delegates to states in both.

Sorority recruitment continues this weekend through Sunday.

Student Engagement first-month activities continue:

Virtual Clubs & Organizations Fair – today (Friday), 10 a.m. to noon (CE credit)
Grocery Bingo - Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 .m.
Bob Ross Paint Night – Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m.


Morgan McDonald returning a volley on the tennis court

Former student-athletes who are making a difference in the health-care profession during the COVID-19 pandemic are spotlighted in the “From the Front Lines” series on the Panther website and social media. Recently featured was former dual-sport athlete Morgan McDonald ’16, who works as a registered nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Despite the postponement of fall sports until the spring of 2021, LC teams are beginning practices. Men’s and women’s soccer start Monday, Sept. 14, with volleyball beginning in October. Football has not yet set a date for its first practice. 

Video of the week

Panther Soccer player Sydney Dailey explains that wearing a mask is a sign of respect. #ProtectaPanther

 In the headlines

OUR VIEW: Hopeful for honoring of Horace King – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 4, 2020

6 active cases of COVID-19 at LaGrange College – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 4, 2020

Category: College

Keywords: alumni cancer law Georgia

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 09/11/2020