rebelling against low expectations

Watch Eva Vertes at TED 2005


Eva Vertes isn’t a normal young person. At least, that’s what our culture would tell us. Her discovery of a compound that inhibits brain cell death was regarded as a step toward curing Alzheimer’s and won her Best in Medicine at the International Science Fair at age 17. Quickly labeled a microbiology prodigy, Eva now aims to find better ways to treat — and avoid — cancer.

Click here for full coverage of Eva’s story.

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Very fascinating! Her ideas about cancer and the questions that she asks reminds me of the stories you read of how former deadly diseases were cured.
    Eva is a great example of how passion and hard work can be combined to make an impact on the world, and for us Christians, an impact that is for God’s glory.

  • Awwww…I just posted the same video. Although it wasn’t YouTube, it was from TED website.

    So, anyone who has looked at my blog recently, I’m not trying to steal the glory or be a copy cat…it was an honest act of ignorance. *’-‘* (blush)

  • Dear Alex & Brett, THANK YOU for posting this ! Praise God that He protected her grandparents during the holocaust of the Jews !
    Today we saw a young woman named Tiffany who works at Walmart somewhere in Central Alabama choose NOT to abort her baby. (She left the abortuary where we Stand for Life in Jesus’ Name.) Praise God with us and for LeBert’s cousin last Friday. Pray with us that God will BLESS these mothers with courage to bring their babies to birth; may He raise them up like He has Eva Vertes to BLESS the world with Hope, Help, and to demonstrate His Wonderful Mercy and Grace !

  • I just watched that yesterday at the Ted website! =) It was very interesting!
    ~God Bless~

    Annaka J.

  • She certainly is a bright light in medical science! Her presentation was fascinating and so informational.

    Thank you for sharing,
    In Christ,

  • The body is very smart? Perhaps, but doesn’t that show that we have a incredibly smart Creator?
    It’s delightful to see her get so excited about her subject. I’m a freshman in college and I still don’t know what I’m majoring in (I get to learn to trust God! :)). This girl knew what she wanted when she was 14! Everything she said seemed to make sense though (except the part where she suggests we evolved).

  • Wow, that was fascinating. It is so inspiring to see a young person really acheive something, and actually make a difference. We are so often told that ‘teenagers can’t excel’, and it’s just not true! Anyway, her ideas about treating and avoiding cancer are very interesting, and the whole talk was enthralling and easy to understand. Although she implied evolution, the way she was talking about the intelligence of our bodies actually pointed towards an intelligent Creator! Thanks so much for posting this guys, it was great.:)

  • Wow. She really seems to know her stuff! It is great to see a young lady who wants to help people in the way she does.

    Oh, and I just today noticed that my blog is on the side now under “Rebelutionaries”! That made me smile. Thanks.

    ~Lady Tai

  • Two things struck me as I watched this presentation. First, her unusually advanced ability to articulate her thoughts. Few her age have even a fraction of the communication skills she possesses. I did NOT hear “uhm, well, like, you see, I REEELY reely think…..I mean, it would be SO COOL if….”. No. The lady has excellent command of the english language, and the ability to progress rationally form one concept to the next. And second, she has, at root, done little more than take the typical young person’s ability to give herself to searching out a matter fully, and gaining a thorouogh working understanding of it….it is exactly the same skill set needed to master level eighty three in the Dominnate the Universe Video Action game……the operant difference being she has directed it outward, to the end of practically seeking to help other people, rather than consume it upon ehrself. Reminds me of Solomon…having the highest level of authority in Israel, but with a heart to rule well for the sake of his people, he asked of God for wisdom, that he might rule well and that Israel might be blessed and prosper. Imagine how much better this culture would be if those coming into adulthood were to take the energy and ability to master video games, etc, and direct that outward, toward making this a better place for all. Which, if I understand correctly, is the basis for the existence of this site, and the passion of the Brothers Harris….Excellent example of one person who is LIVING it.

  • What I appreciated the most was not only her story, but her explanation. I was truly blessed by the scientific information she shared and her going into the details to actually describe how cancer works.

    Thank you for posting this!

  • I know no one has not responded to this article in two years, but I was curious if you have any contact information for Eva Vertes? I have some questions that i would like to ask her and I can’t seem to find any contact information. Have an email for her? thanks a lot.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →