Meet the Chicago teen who may cure colon cancer

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Meet the Chicago teen who may cure colon cancer

By Carol Kuruvilla | nydailynews.com

cure24n-4-webA 19-year-old Chicago teen may one day hold the key to curing colon cancer. If his previous successes are any indication, Keven Stonewall is well on his way to becoming the kind of scientist who leaves a lasting impact in the realm of cancer research.

In his senior year of high school, this young man from the city’s South Side was already working on a potential colon cancer vaccine at a Rush University lab, DNAInfo reports.

“My friends, family members have died from cancer,” Stonewall said in a VNM video. “A lot of people are impacted by cancer. So I felt it was my role to step up and do something about it.”

At first, his friends mocked his dedication to science. When they were out on vacation, he was holed up in his lab.

“I was one of the few kids who were engaged,” Stonewall said. “At first they were making fun of me, like ‘Come on man, why you want to be in the lab all day?’”

But after realizing that his lab time was producing real results, his buddies turned around. In fact, they confessed they were inspired by him.

“Now a lot of my friends are that much more motivated to do better,” Stonewall said. “I can make a difference in someone’s life without even knowing it.”

For his experiment, Stonewall injected a special high concentration of cancer-treating drug mitoxantrone into younger and older mice. He then injected the mice with aggressive colon cancer cells. After three days, Stonewall noticed that his experimental vaccine was 100% effective on young mice — their tumors were gone and they showed immunity to colon cancer. But the older mice were still afflicted by the cancer cells.

His lab director at Rush University, Carl Ruby, said that Stonewall’s experiment helped scientists realize that they needed a special vaccine for older subjects.

The teen “should be heralded for helping to develop more effective colon cancer treatments that will impact the elderly, the population that is most susceptible to colon cancer,” Ruby told DNAInfo. “He has all the tools. He will go far.”

Stonewall has won numerous awards for his research. He was a finalist for the Intel International Science and Engineer Fair in 2013. He’s now a rising sophomore at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, working on a vaccine that he says he hopes could one day be tested on humans.

But the young man won’t forget his roots. He credits his parents for motivating him to succeed in his academics. His father and mother are both teachers in Chicago’s public schools. When he first showed interest in science back in the fifth grade, he remembers getting four microscopes for Christmas.

He’s hoping to eventually create a vaccine that will cure colon cancer once and for all.

“If you don’t plan to succeed, you’re planning to fail,” Stonewall said.

7 Comments on “Meet the Chicago teen who may cure colon cancer”

  1. Marlon

    As a Biomedical Science student who wants to get into research, this is so inspiring. A boy who is just a year younger than me making a big breakthrough with Medicine, it’s amazing. God bless him.

  2. Nyasha Mutunzi

    Keven Stonewall your story is inspiring

    For me they are important facts of your life that I have learnt.

    Planning to pursue destiny/vision

    Enduring consistency in working hard and always pursuing the set goal.
    Holding on the vision until everyone see where you are going, and not allowing even your closest to discourage you.

    The importance of parents in unlocking the full potential of a gift in a child, I appreciate what your parents did to stir and grow the gift in you.

    I also appreciate the fact that you are giving credit to your parents – roots, we all come from somewhere and it’s important to appreciate our parents/mentors/teachers etc, I believe this element always makes us to be humble.

    I declare success in your research; continue setting a model of working hard to the youths and everyone in the World.

    Well done

  3. George

    I will print and post this article in my classroom so my students will understand that it is okay to study hard and make a success of yourself. As for Stonewall, I hope his experiments create something groundbreaking. Even if he doesn’t come up with a definitive cure, his work is inspiring. I have feel I g this won’t be the last great thing that here about this youngster.

  4. Edward A. Hara

    The cancer industry will make very good and sure this bright young man has a “sad and terrible” auto accident. We can’t have someone derailing the big money making train of so-called “cancer research.”

  5. HB

    Awesome piece! We need to hear more stories about our youth excelling in academics, especially the sciences. I pray for this young man to keep God first in his life and keep pushing!

  6. RSimms

    God Bless you, Keven Stonewall.

    His story is what young people of all walks of life need to hear about. Don’t let liberals, Democrats, race baiters/race enablers tell you otherwise. No matter your skin color, or gender, if you put your mind to it, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will succeed!

    I pray he knows Jesus!

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