Colorado 8th-Grader’s Invention Brings Relief To Cancer Patients
DENVER (CBS4) – A science fair project was a labor of love for a local eighth-grader. She came up with a way to help cancer patients, in particular, her father.
CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh met sharp, young Ellie Mackintosh. She’s just 13, but already an inventor. Ellie’s father is especially moved by what she’s accomplished and why.
“My goal was to create a mouthwash,” Ellie said. “I used 40 people to test it.”
Ellie has engineered an award winning concoction for cancer patients.
“Because when I was an 18-month-old, my dad had head and neck cancer,” she said.
Ellie’s father, Todd Mackintosh, was eventually cured with surgery, chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.
“But it also, the radiation treatments itself pretty much destroyed my salivary functions,” Todd said.
“As i grew up I watched him suffer from dry mouth, and so I wanted to try to help him,” Ellie said.
So for her eigth-grade science project Ellie tried combining acids with sour liquids. She eventually came up with a lemon-flavored mouthwash and then a grapefruit one — both designed to make the user drool.
“It inspires salivation in everyone,” Ellie said.
She calls it “Simply Mouth-Watering.” Her dad calls it amazing.
“When she decided to do this I was very touched, very proud,” Todd said.
Todd uses the mouthwatering gel Ellie also invented.
“And it literally works for 25 or 30 minutes,” he said.
Ellie’s solution has won a number of awards, including a first place at the state science fair. Ellie also won her father’s eternal gratitude.
“The lesson that she’s taught me is that you can go through a really difficult time, and yet if you wait and you have belief that things will get better, things do get better, and she proved that to me,” Todd said.
Ellie and her dad are now talking to a patent attorney. There may be a future in “Simply Mouth-Watering.” There is definitely a bright future for Ellie.