We are 3 high school students who have for many years been proactive and involved in the development of apps, and platforms designed to detect early-stage cancer. Collectively, our apps and platforms have been featured nationally, and in state science fairs. We have been friends for years and brought together by our love for science, and technology to impact lives. Like the rest of the world, our world as we know it changed after spring break in March 2020. Instead of heading back to school in Arizona, we were told to stay in our homes and not go out, schools went online, our science competitions were canceled and we were disappointed by the hard work we had put into our next scientific creation not being showcased.
As the world did, we turned on the TV to see people dying from an atypical virus, stock market collapsing and this new world being very foreign and confusing as we have not lived in this world where we have to wear masks or constant awareness of not being too close to people.
As friends, we skyped and zoomed and after many discussions, we realized we need to do something. We realized that what brought us together was our vision and passion to help and educate others. If our lives have changed, the patients going through cancer have had their lives made more difficult. While we have the option of staying home, patients who are undergoing cancer treatments DO NOT have the choice to stay home. Leaving their home and going to a center where there are others who are immunocompromised became that much more dangerous.
Our generation must be about hope and making an impact. According to a recent Lancet journal article, oncology patients were observed to have a higher risk of severe events (the endpoint defined as the percentage of patients being admitted to the ICU requiring increased invasive ventilation or death) compared to those without cancer. There was also a suggestion that those with cancer might have a higher risk of COVID-19 compared to those without cancer. Three strategies were outlined. One of those strategies included stronger personal protection provisions should be made for patients with cancer or cancer survivors.
Our journey started with us trying to make masks. For the benefit of the recipients, we decided not to pursue this avenue but instead mobilize people to contribute to this cause. Our vision is to supply EVERY patient undergoing cancer treatment with a mask. We have partnered with large oncology groups which has been well received. We want to motivate everyone to participate in our