The contributions of Black people to modern medicine, and also, all fields of science have been tremendous and legendary. There is no field in human existence that Black people have not pioneered mind-blowing inventions. Even though the Western media does it’s best to hide these achievements, no one can deny the fact that Black people are geniuses who have given to the world much more than the world has given them.
One of the deadliest health conditions ever known to man has been cancer. Till date, Cancer still affects people worldwide, but with the contributions of people like Dr. Jane Wright, it can now be managed to a great extent. This depends on where the patient gets his/her treatment and how much that patient has for treatment. There are those who are of the opinion that cancer was created in a laboratory, just like HIV/AIDS and Ebola. But we will not go into that in this article.
Dr. Jane Cooke Wright was the one who made a breakthrough in the use of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. She was born in New York in 1919 and was to Louis Tompkins Wright.
Dr. Jane Wright’s father was among the initial Harvard Medical School graduates who were African-Americans (Black people). So, it is only right that he set the pace and example for his daughter to follow. In 1929, her father was appointed to a staff position at a municipal hospital in New York – he was the first African American doctor to get that position in America. He was also the first African-American police surgeon.
She graduated from the New York Medical College in 1945, with honors, after which she completed her internship at the Bellevue Hospital from 1945 to 1946. During her internship, she served as the assistant resident in internal medicine, for nine months. She was later hired as a staff physician with the New York Public Schools, in the January of 1949, but still continued as a visiting physician at the Harlem Hospital where she interned.
After six months on the job, she would go-ahead to join a team of researchers at her father’s institute called “Harlem Cancer Foundation Research”. She would later become head of the research foundation at the death of her father.
As at the time she joined her father’s foundation, chemotherapy, as a treatment for cancer was still experimental. At the foundation, her father was now giving more research time to the investigation of anti-cancer chemicals. She and father worked together during the trials for the perfect treatment. She carried out the trials on the patients, while her father worked in the laboratory.
Dr. Jane and her father started to test a new chemical for the treatment of leukemias and cancers of the lymphatic system in humans. Many of their patients who took part in the trials started to get better. At that point, Dr. Jane and her father knew they were making headway. So, they pressed on.
Dr. Jane’s father died in 1952, and after he was put to rest, she took as the director of the Cancer Research Foundation at Harlem Hospital. She continued on the path of discovering a permanent treatment for cancer, and in 1955, she became an associate professor of surgical research and the director of cancer chemotherapy research at the New York University Medical Center. After this, she focused her research program on personalized medicine.
She pioneered the treatment of tumors by cutting part of the tumor from the patient and testing it with the different drugs they produced. In this process, the tumor cells are made to grow in the laboratory, and then drugs are introduced to see if the tumor would stop growing. Before then, no one had ever thought of that aspect of tumor treatment.
Dr. Jane Wright was so bright and innovative that she was wanted in many parts of the world for her contributions to modern medicine. Before she had started going around the world, she set up a comprehensive program at the New York Medical College, for doctors to study stroke, cancer, heart disease, and also created a different program to coach doctors on chemotherapy.
While she was away from the United States, she led team and groups of oncologists in Africa, China, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe where they succeeded in treating numerous cancer patients.
She went ahead to leave a great legacy behind for the world, as she was called on to lead many medical organizations and teams. She was one of the seven people who founded the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 1964. She was appointed the head of the New York Cancer Society in 1971.
She went ahead to retire in 1985, after which she was then appointed emerita professor at the New York Medical College in 1987.
Women like Dr. Jane Wright are the kind of role models our young people should have. People like her should be thought in schools so that the young ones would know that they had people (ancestors) who changed the world in the last century – a century that was not even blessed with the internet and the type of learning aids and facilities we have now.
Black people should be thought about women like her, so that when someone says “Black people are a burden to the world”, they show them articles such as this and laugh hard.
For too long, Black people have been made to feel inferior – because false role models and inventors were introduced to them, and because they were told they can never be like the Caucasian race who invented everything.
But guess what Black man; your type actually invented almost everything on earth today. And you should take huge pride in that.