Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

My Hero

Ken Shaw was a true hero. At the age of 20, he joined the Navy during the Vietnam War. After completing the term, he was honorably discharged from the service.

When he returned back to his hometown of Saugus, Massachusetts, Ken started training to be a Saugus Police officer. After joining the police force, he worked on many famous cases such as the “Pork Pie Bandit” and the “Nanny from Sweden.”
He became the first white police officer to have a partner of another race. Back in those days that was very uncommon.
While he was still on the police force, he took an intensive course on fingerprinting and detective photography. He studied hard and became certified in fingerprinting and photographing evidence.
In 1983 Ken came up with an idea. His idea was to fingerprint children and to give the prints to the child’s parents. In the case of an emergency, the parents would give law enforcement the prints and they would be used to help find the children. Because of his idea, millions of kids in the U.S. have been safe and families have rested easier knowing that police have a clear way of identifying missing children.
In 1997 when I was one-year-old, Ken was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. He contracted Hepatitis C from working with blood and other body fluids before proper gloves were used. Hepatitis C causes your liver to fail and the rest of your body not to function normally. After Ken was diagnosed, he took charge and personally bought his co-workers specialized gloves that could serve as protection from blood-borne viruses. Even though he worked hard and helped other people, his own health was deteriorating so badly that he needed a new liver, fast…
Sadly, because of a lack of organ donors, Ken fell into a coma. And on December 23, 1998, Ken passed away. Partly because of his death, doctors now know how to cure Hepatitis C, since a complication with his illness led doctors to discover better ways to deal with Hepatitis C victims.
You may think I picked Ken as a hero because I saw him on the internet or somewhere in the history books; but no, I picked this remarkable hero because he is my grandfather. I was two-years-old when he passed away so I didn’t know him personally, but I have been told many stories about him and I even got the chance to see his workshop/basement where he did much of his work.
Grampy Ken often used to say “Make your mark on the world.” I know many people who live by this quote every day.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

BabyV said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm
Wow. Truly moving. Good Work Kendra! :)
KendraCurran replied...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Thank You!
Timothy Lim said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm
I learned some history. Very interesting. Highly suggested into the teenink magazine. I would love to see it in class Kendra. Your great grandfather mustve been a wonderful man. :P Sounded like it.
Your friend tim lim
Timothy Lim replied...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm
Oops i meant grandfather. My bad kendra :)
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback