Jayme W. used to wake up during the night hearing her little sister, Katie, cough and struggle to breathe. Katie has cystic fibrosis, and the buildup of mucus in her lungs makes it hard to breathe. When Katie started on a new treatment, Jayme decided to write a science paper about it. She submitted the paper to an international science competition and ended up winning first place among 10,000 entries.
What was your paper about? I wrote my paper on hypertonic saline therapy. Basically, the therapy is a seven percent salt concentration solution that is inhaled as a vapor. It goes into the cells of the lungs, and it draws out the mucus in the cells and makes it easier for the patient to cough up the mucus.
How has your testimony been strengthened through working with your sister? I have definitely seen the hand of God in the transformation of my sister from a sickly child. Seeing color in her face, watching her develop a love for running, and watching her feel well has been so miraculous. I know that could have been accomplished only with the help of God. My testimony of the love of God for each of us has grown immensely.
What has science taught you about gaining spiritual knowledge? In science and research, you don’t just get the answers handed to you. Knowledge is built step by step, and you have to do a lot of work on your own. You have to experiment, try different things, and if something doesn’t work, you just have to try again. Spiritual knowledge is also gained in small increments. The answers don’t come all at once, just a little bit at a time. Like gaining scientific knowledge, you also have to do research on your own like studying the scriptures, pondering, and praying. And if the answer doesn’t come right away, you have to keep trying.
What is your favorite scripture? My favorite scripture is Luke 1:37, which states, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” This is such a simple statement, yet it is so profound! Just the thought that with God we can do anything fills me with hope and courage.
Name: Jayme W.
Fun facts: Won first place in the senior division (grades 10–12) of the DuPont Challenge science competition with her paper “Salt: Enhancing Lives One Breath at a Time.” Was invited to participate in the White House science fair. Other interests include theater, piano, and violin.