SAINT PAUL, MN – Amara Strande died April 14 at the age of 20 after a long battle with cancer. Strande grew up in Oakdale, graduated from Tartan High School and was enrolled at Augsburg University, where she majored in Music Production. As a teenager, Strande was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer resulting in tumors throughout her body. Strande had been exposed to per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” which were manufactured at a nearby 3M plant and leached into the water supply. Amara became an outspoken advocate for legislation to ban almost all uses of PFAS chemicals in consumer products and to require companies to disclose their use to the public, which included testifying before the Senate Environment and Climate Committee on March 2.
Legislation to regulate the use of PFAS chemicals is included in the Senate Environment and Climate Omnibus Budget bill, which awaits floor action in the Senate. Committee chair Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul), Senator Judy Seeberger(DFL-Afton), Senator Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven), Senator Heather Gustafson (DFL-Vadnais Heights) and Senator Tou Xiong (DFL-Maplewood) issued the following statement to mark the occasion of Strande’s passing.
“Amara Strande did not have a choice in being exposed to these harmful chemicals, but after her diagnosis, she chose to use her remaining time to be a tireless champion of public health. Her impact on efforts to regulate and limit public exposure to these dangerous chemicals cannot be overstated. Amara’s heartbreaking story and brave testimony has shaped and inspired our work this session. We are eager to pass this legislation in her honor and ensure future Minnesotans are protected. Amara’s death is a tragic loss for her family, her community, and our state. Her life and legacy are a blessing to our work and to all future generations of Minnesotans.”