Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator is changing the world

9781925106541There are certain books that you begin reading and realise you cannot stop. Jack Andraka’s book was definitely one of them. There were many parts of the book I could relate to and other parts were very touching and made me proud of a person that I don’t even know! When Jack was 15, he began researching for a way to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages after a close dear family member lost his life to pancreatic cancer. Currently attending Standford University, it was truly  impressive and inspiring to see  Jack’s success over all his science fairs, research and hard work that sure paid off. He believed that there was an effective way to detect cancer without the high cost for testing. After spending his Summer researching, he wrote out his plan and sent it to 200 doctors.

In hopes of receiving replies of doctors telling him his plan was marvelous and they could absolutely use his lab for research, it took the opposite turn. The luck of one doctor out of 200 rejections offered Jack a chance to do research at Johns Hopkins University. The book was truly inspiring and it is amazing what one can do when they simply put their mind and hard work into it! Jack was also bullied throughout high school, had attempted suicide and was openly gay. What really touched me was his persistence to never give up. There are too many bullies in the world trying to tear dreamers, hard workers and game changers down. The ones trying to make a difference. Yet it is fighting through the tough times and chasing what you’re passionate about that reminds us what really matters.

Reading the book made me have more appreciation for science, with my water painted mind (think Monet). Somehow, I could relate even more, the fact that Jack is the same age as myself. He is really speaking to a wider audience, but also specifically young adults. At the end of the book he writes:

#Breakthrough – If you’re tired of hearing our generation getting trashed all the time as a group of self-entitled slackers, it’s up to each one of us to break through and change that perception. What is the one thing you can do to change the world? Share your own inspirational photos or actions with #Breakthrough.

This is particularly true, in our fast-paced generation, technology filled society and instant gratification syndrome. However, we are accessible to more knowledge than ever before at a click of a button. We are able to create global influence and make incredible changes. As an individual, I believe that making a change in this world, that will break this perception is to first create small changes. Inspire others with an act of kindness, hard work in a project or lend a helping hand. Whatever it is you can’t stop thinking or doing everyday – Whatever it is that makes you feel as if you can make a difference big or small – that’s the first step  in creating change.

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