This week I have fifteen year old, Jack Andraka who has revolutionized early cancer detection. Yes even before being able to legally operate a motor vehicle this young man has developed a simple dip stick sensor that tests for mesothelin which is a component found in the blood and urine with patients who have the early stages of pancreatic cancer.
Jacks motivation came from frustrations over losing a family friend to the disease. As he sat in science class, admittedly not paying attention to the lecture, the idea hit him. His prize-winning invention is not only revolutionary due to his age and brilliant methods but also due to its affordability and effectiveness. Current methods of testing are very expensive and sadly very ineffective unless the patient has already progressed to stage four. And the statistics for survival at such a stage for even one year is 20%. Surviving for five years drops down to 4%.
We need more heroic fifteen year old's like this, wouldn't you say?