John Kanzius had everything, until he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, just a year and a half after he retired.
Like all current cancer patients, he had to undergo treatment, and so during the course of his chemotherapy, he saw others that were suffering just as he was, and they gave him inspiration. He acquired his inspiration from the children that were sharing his pain.
"There was one scene I could not forget and that was the young children came in with smiles and a week later see those smiles disappear and so forth and literally would watch them waste away," Kanzius later recounts.
Kanzius wanted to find a new way to help all of the people suffering, but he wanted to do it in a new way such that they didn’t have to suffer more through treatment than the progression of the cancer.
Being an inventor, Kanzius had had a lot of experience playing with the mechanics of radio waves and one night in October, he instantly had the idea to use the past to influence the future: Use radio frequencies to burn the cancer.
He already had all of the equipment that was needed, and the only things that he was lacking were antennas, so he used his wife’s pans as a replacement.
His wife woke to the noise that he was making and comes down to find him cutting her dishes. Her first thought was that “he'd lost it," she says.
All new ideas may sound like something from a TV series, but that is the beauty of invention; do something different. This is the thought process that Kanzius had that night:
Radio waves have virtually no effect upon the human body, for we are surrounded by them all the time, but they do heat up certain materials, such as gold and carbon.
At the request of Kanzius, a lab provided him with nano-sized gold particles.
These tiny particles are administered to the patient and are attracted to the cancer cells due to the abnormality that they have within them, and they therefore don’t affect healthy cells.
We then heat up the particles using radio waves tuned to a certain frequency, and the cells would heat up and die, without hurting any other cells.
Kanzius shared his results with a researcher in 2004, who claimed it as “the most amazing thing he’d ever seen”.
Kanzius, with the help of many universities and researchers is now working on clinical sized experiments, and he is now only waiting for the FDA approval of human testing.
Kanzius’ method has been dubbed the new “holy grail” by physician Dr. Dan Pulsipher.
Even though he is retired, Kanzius still holds a full time job of about 70 hours a week, working on his project to save the patients he saw while he was in chemotherapy. He is there to save the children, and by doing so, he says he gets all the thanks he needs, just to know that they can be happy.