With eyes barely peering above the podium and voices quivering, these Holy Name School students in Henderson are the future. However, they stand taller and stronger for Lane Goodwin.
"If anybody was on Facebook, you saw the pain he was going through," said 8th grader Logan Douglas. "He wanted to make a difference so we thought, well, if he can suffer through cancer and still make a difference, we can at least make a bill and talk about him."
Some lawmakers can't agree on what to have for lunch but these school students can rally for a cause. They drafted a bill they hope becomes law. Through tax credits, the bill would lessen the financial burden childhood cancer places on families.
It's not just any law. It's Lane's Law.
The students presented their bill to the Kentucky Youth Assembly earlier this month. It was unanimously passed. It's already garnered the attention of some Kentucky lawmakers as well.
"It's just amazing that adults would actually listen to us," Douglas said. "It's crazy to think they listened to us instead of us listening to them."
Don't think for a second the moment wasn't lost on Lane's parents, George and Angie.
"The way they honored Lane and the way these kids are fighting to help other families, it's pretty amazing to see that," Angie Goodwin said.
The students can see a little bit of themselves in Lane. Lane's parents can see a little bit of their son in these students.
"You don't see kids stand up for a lot of things or come together to stand up for something," Angie said. "To stand up for another kiddo, especially a sick one, it's pretty amazing."
You'll find Lane in a picture on a bracelet or on a shirt.
Hopefully, you'll find Lane on a bill that reaches the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear.
"Lane and I had a lot of talks the last few days and we made promises to him that we're going to keep," Angie said. "To see something like that pass, it would be just a blessing."
In the future, some of these students will become doctors or firemen or parents themselves. Whatever they do, there will be a thumbs up from Lane as if to say thank you.
Lane's Law would allow families of childhood cancer victims (under the age of 18) to apply for a 30% income tax deduction. The deduction would go toward medical expenses and other expenses related to traveling for treatment.
If the parent or parents are employed, federal law already states that the employer must continue to pay one-half of the parent(s) salary while they are off work and staying with the child for up to 90 days.