14-year-old Boy Awarded $25k For Developing Soap That Treats Skin Cancer
A 14-year-old boy has made a name for himself in the United States.
Heman Bekele added his name to the history books after he was named America’s Top Young Scientist for developing an affordable bar of soap that treats skin cancer.
Heman Bekele, a ninth grader at W.T. Woodson High School in Annandale, Virginia went head-to-head with nine other finalists in the 2023 3M Young Scientists Challenge and emerged as the winner. He took home the $25,000 grand prize.
According to Mail Online, Bekele made the cancer-fighting soap by infusing medicinal soap with three ingredients that have been found to reactivate dendritic cells that generate an immune response to combat cancer.
Bekele also found that each bar costs just $0.50, compared to the more than $40,000 needed for current medical treatments.
Over the next five years, Bekele hopes to refine this novel innovation and create a nonprofit organization to distribute this low-cost solution to needy communities.
Skin cancer is mostly found in people living in developing countries,’ Bekele told Fairfax County Public Schools.
‘But the average price for an operation is $40,000.
‘I was devastated by the idea of people choosing between treatment and putting food on the table for their families. There are so many preventable deaths.’
The teen started researching skin cancer and learning about dendritic cells, which he said help protect the skin by boosting immune response.