West Teen Pursues Medical Dreams

Malia-Grace Bush

Malia-Grace Bush

There aren’t many children who find their passion in life before they hit high school, but Malia-Grace Bush realized her dream when she was in middle school.

“I wanted to go into the medical pathway because of a television show,” she explained. “I watched Health Discovery once, and ever since then I was hooked.”

Since then, that’s all she’s been watching, and she also began doing her own research on different cancers, diseases and disorders.

“I just started wondering,” she explained: “‘What if I could find a cure for this, or a treatment, or anything that could be life-changing or make a medical discovery?'”

High school was a huge stepping stone for Bush, who realized there were many more opportunities to help point her toward the path she wants for her life.

Now a senior at Campbell High School, she is in her last year of the AVID program, which is meant to prepare students for college.

“That prepared me by putting me in the classes I need to be in order to major in a science field in college,” said Bush, who got accepted to Chaminade University with a scholarship.

She recently returned from the Nov. 14-16 Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C., and was one of 15 students who represented Hawaii.

Bush is a member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and was nominated to attend to the congress by Dr. Connie Mariano, medical director of National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

“When I got the invitation in the mail, I was completely surprised,” she admitted.

While the entire conference was inspirational, three speakers in particular stood out for Bush, whose medical field interest is oncology.

The first was Mariano, who also was the former physician to the president.

“She came and spoke to me,” Bush said of Mariano. “That was really awesome to me because she was the person who nominated me.”

The second person who held Bush’s interest was Jack Andraka, the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair grand prize winner. At age 15, Andraka created a diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer that is 28 times faster than current diagnostic tests.

The final attendee to inspires her was Carmen Blanding Tarleton, recipient of one of the world’s first full-face transplants.

Hard work and a passion for what you believe go a long way, and the future looks bright for Malia-Grace Bush.

To review highlights from the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, look online at FutureDocs.com.