I work in a high school, where there are many brilliant students. One girl spends her extra time in a lab, and she just won $30,000 for her work in cancer research. This 17 year old girl actually discovered a way to cure a form of liver cancer without the use of chemotherapy. Yes, she did, it's documented, and she did it by herself.
She also is the captain of the dance/drill team, and they just won the national competition.
Talk about an over-achiever. Kind of makes you feel a little bit like a slacker, right?
I asked her about her research for a blurb on our school website, and her answer was way over my head. I asked her to dumb it down for me - to talk to me like I was five.
She must think I'm the smartest five year old in the world, because it was still too hard for me. Suffice it to say, this girl has an amazing career ahead of her. She could be the next Dennis Slamon.
Smaller efforts are being made too. One of our clubs just sold daffodils to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. I remembered a year ago when I was in the chemo room and got my own daffodils. (It was nice to not receive them this time.) These kids are also doing a head-shaving event, which was a way of encouraging the students to purchase the flowers.
This Friday, stylists from Paul Mitchell Salons will be out on campus, and four teachers have agreed to shave their heads in thanks for the donations. The press is expected to come out and document the event due to the amount of money the kids raised.
Which is no surprise - the press been on campus several times recently due to the incredible accomplishments of our students. (One has a school in Liberia named after her). We have had three news crews and two newspapers in the past two weeks. I doubt there is a public high school with students of this caliber anywhere else.
While long-time readers know I don't really understand how shaving heads supports cancer patients (the thought of it actually made me a bit sick when I was bald) I do understand the good intentions behind it, and I know seeing a teacher get his head shaved is the kind of thing that gets kids excited.
I admire the desire of young people who want to cure cancer, either because they have the gifts and knowledge to be able to do complicated medical research at such a young age, or because simple caring compels them to hold a fundraiser. My own son works Saturdays at a cancer society thrift shop, of which I'm very proud.
It does a heart good to see students who truly care.