KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Trying to find a cure for cancer: That's what one Park Hill High School freshman is trying to do.
Jessica Binckley is a unique ninth-grader. She's been spending her summers at Duke University, searching for solutions.
Her passion stems from pain. The 16-year-old is part of the Duke TIP Field Studies program for nanotechnology, and she's one of just 25 in the country chosen for this honor.
"I've had unfortunately a lot of family members that have battled cancer and different, even rare, diseases," Binckley said.
Grandparents, an aunt, an uncle -- all gone too soon.
"That really tore me apart inside," the 16-year-old said.
So she's turning her pain into her passion. Simply put: "Find a cure for cancer. Who doesn't want to do that?" Binckley said.
And she plans to do just that.
The 16-year-old has a keen interest in studying nano-particles and their effects on the environment and disease.
She's been a part of the Duke Talent Identification Program since the seventh grade. Her dream is to attend Duke University after high school and eventually become a doctor of oncology or neurosurgery at a research hospital.
"Success is what you really want it to be," she said.
The Park Hill freshman recently landed a professional studies internship at Truman Medical Center's oncology department. She'll start her internship this summer.
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