Steffanie Collings, namesake of legislation to require insurance coverage for routine health care costs for patients who undergo clinical trials, died today, a day after the bill passed the state Senate. The 18-year-old Noble girl was told by her father Wednesday that the bill, called Steffanie's Law, had passed the Oklahoma Senate. "Steffanie knew before she passed," her father, Monty Collings, said. Steffanie Collings had undergone care that was part of a clinical trial, but some of the routine health care costs such as lab tests and doctor's visits that normally would be covered by insurance were not covered in her case as well as other patients undergoing clinical trials that test new medical treatments. Although battling a brain tumor that had left her weak and in a wheelchair, Steffanie came to the state Capitol in January and spoke in support of the legislation. "Steffanie went to be with our Lord around 1 a.m. this morning," her father wrote in an e-mail to family friends. "She was truly a soldier for Christ! She will be dearly missed, and we are comforted knowing that she is with God singing, dancing and hanging out with her grandparents in Heaven." "The courage and compassion of the entire Collings family inspired us to seek help for them wherever it might be found. Steffanie in particular was one of the bravest people I've ever met," said Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, the author of Steffanie's Law. Memorial contributions can be made to the Truth Church in care of the McClain Bank in Noble or to the Oklahoma Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation, 820 NE 63. Contributions to Truth Church will be used to build a playground, Collings said. Contributions to the brain tumor foundation will be to help others going through similar situations, he said. "We agreed it was to help others," he said. In February after speaking to a Senate committee that approved Steffanie's law, Collings said she was in the final stages of her illness. He said his and his family's efforts on the legislation would be to help others. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Truth Church, 48th and Etowah in Noble, under the direction of McMahan Funeral Home.
Steffanie Collings speaks during a press conference at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City Jan. 23. Photo by Steve Gooch