Jack Andraka is a fifteen-year-old freshman at North County High School who lives in Maryland. Jack is on the national junior Wildwater kayaking team, and has fun playing with his dog and folding origami. He excels at school, winning multiple national and international math competitions. But Jack is no ordinary boy.
Jack was able to single-handedly develop a paper sensor that could detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer in 5 minutes for as little as 3 cents. His journey started at an expected place, here is his story.
Making The Best Out Of The Worse
Jack Andraka was just 15, halfway through his teens, when he experienced grief for the first time. His heart shattered as he watched his uncle, who was more of a father figure to him, die of his pancreatic cancer. At first, he felt helpless to the circumstances, wondering why the forces of nature could be so unfair.
The more he thought about it, the more he decided that nature wasn't actually to blame and that perhaps medicine could have stepped up and saved his uncle. Since it didn't seem like medicine had made any recent strides when it comes to Cancer research, Jack decided to take matters into his own hands.
In Just A Year And A Half
It all began when he was researching statics online about pancreatic cancer. He was surprised to find that 85% of pancreatic cancers were diagnosed late, giving patients only a 2 percent rate of survival or three months left live.
Jack's conclusion was that Cancer medicine had a big problem with early detection testing. His solution would be to figure out a way to create a test that could detect pancreatic cancer in the earliest stages. With his whole life still ahead of him, he decided to make this his purpose. Little did he know, it would only take him a year and a half to solve it
Why This Changes Eveyrthing
The sad reality is that when someone is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, they are already in the ending stages. This means that there is not much that they can do to avoid a quickly coming death sentence. It doesn't matter if they're young or old, the odds are simply not in their favor. In fact, pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer with only 5.5% of those diagnosed with the disease surviving past five years.
What Jack was doing was extending their life and giving them a fighting chance. At just 15 years old he was able to completely transform the field of medicine, and make the tumor removable with early detection.
A Test With A 100% Accuracy
Jack was not only able to find a way to test with early detection, but what he created was a sensor that is reported to be 168 times quicker, 26,000 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive than the ones available.
Jack's test only costs around 3 cents and takes 5 minutes to complete. Plus it's 100% accurate compared to the previous 70% accuracy rate!
Changed His Own Life
In a Ted Talk, Jack shared: "Earlier this year I won an International Science Fair, and everyone keeps asking me how could a 15 year old have developed a new way to detect pancreatic cancer? My response? A Year and half of hard work and over millions, millions of failures"
The problem with pancreatic cancer was that it showed no symptoms beforehand, so by the time a patient made it to diagnosis, it was already too late, making early detection the key. The boy's research was a groundbreaking inexpensive, simple and sensitive breakthrough that will save lives.
By saving everyone else, Jack worked through his grief and created for himself a life full of purpose and opportunities. All it took was a will, a calling, and motivation.
Modern Medicine Ages
The young man developed a novel paper sensor for the detection of pancreatic ovarian and lung cancer. It was a wake-up call to reconsider some of the "modern medicine" that we rely upon.
Before he came along, medicine still relied on a 60-year-old technique that missed over 30% of pancreatic cancers. In the U.S, the test alone cost $800 and was not covered by insurance plans. This means that lower-income patients were not even able to access testing options.
Jack's findings restore faith that we can help everyone around us, no matter their circumstances, or our own perceived limitations.
Saving Millions Of Lives...And Dollars
Jack's invention could save thousands of lives, and even millions of dollars. Think of all patients who can go home after their diagnosis believing that this is not the end and that they have a second chance of extending their life past their diagnosis.
Jac's motivation to work through his grief by making an impact, so others didn't have to feel his pain, helped him come up with something that is absolutely life-changing. He wasn't discouraged, not even when rejected by 197 scientists when he asked for help. He did it on his own, but he did it.
The boy's research only took a year and a half, despite medical research like this often taking years to complete. Call it fate, skill, or luck, but by examining a data base of 8000 proteins and trying different combinations, his 4000th try helped him strike gold.
His advice for shooting high and achieving anything is:"Through the internet, anything is possible. Theories can be shared and you don't have to be a professor with multiple degrees to have your ideas valued. It's just your ideas that count"
Using our resources to our advantage, instead of wasting time taking selfies like everyone else, is Jack's key, he adds: "instead you could be changing the world."
Start Changing The World
Jack highlights that being brave and fearless, and thinking of unconventional ways to get things done.
Don't be afraid to step out of the box to think for yourself and see what kind of impact you can create on the world" If a 15-year-old could do it, he says, "imagine what you could do."
Are you still searching for your life purpose? You won't believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you!
That's right, the numerology of your birth date, regardless of what month you were born, can reveal surprising information about your personality.