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Future neurosurgeon inspires

Tackling a seemingly easy task, many people tend to flippantly dismiss it as “not brain surgery.”

However, that’s exactly the challenging field that one Suffolk teen hopes to enter one day — and she’s starting early.

Ayania Brown, a King’s Fork High School freshman, recently learned she will be a delegate for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, being held in Massachusetts in June.

This program guides the top students in the country that aspire to be physicians or medical scientists. She will hear from leading medical researchers, learn about new advancements in medical technology and get advice from top medical school deans. She’ll even get the chance to watch a live surgery and ask the surgeon questions.

Like many current and future leaders in health care, Ayania was inspired by the experiences of family members. Her aunt, Nikesha Hence, has had surgery for brain aneurysm, and Ayania asked lots of questions about the experience.

“I just found it very interesting,” Ayania said.

Her mother also suffers from sickle cell disease, in which people have atypical hemoblogin molecules that cause their red blood cells to change shape. This causes the red blood cells to break down prematurely, leading to anemia. The stiff, inflexible cells can also get stuck in small blood vessels, depriving tissues and organs of oxygen and leading to a cascade of other problems. Ayania is her mother’s “unofficial, at-home hematologist,” said her mother, Drashana Alston.

Ayania now is intensely engaged in science class and watches lots of medical shows to continue piquing her interest.

Ayania is especially interested in neurosurgery and nanotechnology, which can help make brain surgery less invasive and reduce the risk of infections and other concerns.

We say Ayania is more than prepared for the launch of her future career and are excited to learn about what she does in the future — starting with the Congress of Future Medical Leaders.