Cameron Cohen is only 13 years old, but he has already created his second iPhone/iPad app. The first one he created is called iSketch and is a simple painting and drawing app that has been well-received.
So well received, in fact, that he donated $20,000 of the proceeds to the Chase Child Life program at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. He was only 11 when he created iSketch.
Cameron’s journey to app developer began when he was a patient at UCLA Medical Center–Santa Monica, in 2009, which is part of the UCLA Health System. He underwent surgery for what ended up being a benign bone tumor.
He desire to give back stemmed from his experiences there and his second app aims to raise funds to support pediatric cancer research at UCLA. Because of the care he received at the hospital, he was able to recover, but was sent home with a leg brace. The time he spent indoors as a result was devoted to learning how to write program code for iOS devices. Between Apple manuals and the Internet, he was able to teach himself the essentials.
His newest app is called AnimalGrams and is available for the iPad and iPhone. Cameron will be donating a large amount of AnimalGrams as well as further iSketch proceeds to Dr. Noah Federman, an assistant professor of pediatric hematology–oncology and director of the pediatric bone and soft tissue sarcoma program at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. The hospital annually serves more than 6,000 inpatients and 100,000 outpatients and offers a full range of primary and specialized medical care for infants, children and adolescents.
The research that Dr. Federman conducts is related to using targeted nanoparticles to treat pediatric sarcomas, which are often lethal bone and soft tissue cancers. Dr. Federman also specializes in conducting clinical trials and leads an experienced clinical research team devoted to providing access to clinical trials for children with refractory, recurrent and metastatic bone and soft tissue cancers. The overall goal is to increase patient outcomes from these types of cancers.
“I’m excited about supporting the research of Dr. Federman because I feel that his research on treatment of pediatric bone cancer using nanoparticles is extremely innovative and will hopefully lead to breakthroughs that will make an incredible difference in many kids’ lives. I feel a direct connection to his research, as I had a tumor in my leg bone, though mine was fortunately benign.”
The apps that Cameron develops are fun and made for entertainment purposes. Cameron explains,
“After having made iSketch, a productivity app, I chose to create a pick-up-and-play–type of game, because those are the types of games that seem the most popular on the iPhone. AnimalGrams is a fun and challenging anagram-style word game where you have to un-scramble letters to form words. Each letter tile is in the shape of an animal — hence the name AnimalGrams.”