While most of his peers were focused on graduating and figuring out “what’s next?”, Kevin Stonewall was discovering colon cancer breakthroughs during his last year of the high school.

As a student working at a Rush University lab during his senior year, the teen from Chicago’s South Side (Ashburn neighborhood) found a critical age-related drawback in an experimental vaccine aimed at preventing colon cancer in mice, according to a report from DNAInfo.

The current rising sophomore and biomedical engineering major at the University of Wisconsin Madison continues to follow his love for science and research a colon cancer vaccine that can be tested on the elderly, and ultimately, be a cure.

“I am very passionate about doing colon cancer research,” Stonewall said. “If it works on humans, I would be overwhelmed. My whole life would flash in front of me.”

Stonewall’s lab director at Rush University, Carl Ruby, said that Stonewall’s experiment helped scientists realize that they needed a special vaccine for older subjects. Ruby said Stonewall,  “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 added, ““He has all the tools. He will go far.”

Stonewall’s first tools were four microscopes he received one Christmas from his parents when he was in the fifth grade.

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