Saturday, December 14, 2013

It is good when we find one. We need miracles and it is the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect on what an impact his story has made on so many people in the world year after year.  The newest Pope Francis has just been named Time Magazine’s man of the year which is some kind of notable distinction since the publication usually picks very interesting people.The Pope is supposed to be the closest thing we have to God here on earth. According to his stories, God works in mysterious ways.  I think he is still working hard.
The media lets us focus on the rich and famous.  I like to focus on the unknown but remarkable people.  Jesus was like that once till the Catholic Church got rich and famous.  I want to focus on a boy who should be famous and who one day will be very rich.  He is the present day miracle I found.  Jack Andraka is a 15 year old freshman who developed a test to detect early pancreatic cancer.  That’s all. Just like Jesus did nothing much buy do his miracles.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and deadly cancers around these days.  It is so dangerous in part because by the time it is found it has already spread its deadly force to other parts of the body.  So when news broke recently that a test is being developed to find early pancreatic cancer, the research world not only took notice, they went into shock.  Yes, miracles are shocking especially since the test wasn’t developed by some well funded research institute but was developed by just a kid snooping around on the Internet  for clues to his inquisitive mind.
Jack managed to convince a researcher to let him use the laboratory to test his findings before he learned to drive a car.  While the test must undergo many clinical trials, the cancer research industry has taken notice of this miracle child.  Jack already won the INTEL International Science Fair beating 1,500 other contestants and won his first $100,000 dollars  I say his first because the kid is also smart enough to own his invention and make money when people use the test widespread.

Jack Andreka’s journey from suburban high school 14 year old freshman to cancer research specialist happened when a family friend died from pancreatic cancer.  Shocked that there wasn’t any early detection for the disease . Jack decided to probe the Internet for everything he could learn about the problem.  Most kids his age are just killing people on some stupid Internet game with their thumbs.  When inspiration came to him on how to develop the early warning test, most of his family and friends thought he was nuts and that if anything could be done it would already be out there in the science world.

Like the opposition Jesus faced, this kid was rejected by over 200 research firms and was only accepted by one who also let him use the laboratory.  The one professional who gave Jack a chance was the Professor of Oncology at John’s Hopkins University and who now heads Pancreatic Cancer Research at the MD Anderson  Center in Houston. For the next sevens months after school and on weekends Jack would go to the lab, when most kids would hang out with their friends. Jacks test detects a usually high level of mesofilo which is a protein that the body produces in pancreatic cancer early and most treatable stage

With the test a high level of  mesofilo indicates early pancreatic problems. The professor says that the test that cost $0.03 to make is amazing in how well it detects early pancreatic problems. Ok, the kid is a genius. His parents admit that he has been interested in science since the age of 3. His parents encourage him for his thirst of science knowledge by surrounding him with science projects and scientific magazines. The kid is already a star speaker at medical conferences all around the world. The way Jesus was preaching all over the world. Alright this kid is no genius, but he is developing a miracle for many people. He has spoken in front of the most elite scientist already about his concern for the lack of early detection test for many diseases.

Jack has a 4.0 average and will probably go on to attend Cambridge University. With his patent he’s looking to license his test to a pharmaceutical company in the next few months. Then the big bucks should be pouring in for him. He believes his invention will be in every doctors and on every pharmacy’s shelves. Between speaking engagements and occasionally attending school, Jack is back in the lab working on new diagnostic and environmental test. He’s already working on a new invention that could be eligible for a $10 million prize in medical diagnostics. Yes Jesus didn’t stop at one miracle either.

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