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Mahwah Inventor, 9, Inducted Into National Gallery

Mark Leschinsky ,9, of Mahwah, works on his prototype for the self-disinfecting suit last year. Photo Credit: Boris Leschinsky
Mark Leschinsky, 9, of Mahwah, at the induction ceremony. Photo Credit: Boris Leschinsky
Leschinsky, front and center, of Mahwah, with the other National Gallery for America's Young Inventors inductees before this month's ceremony. Photo Credit: Boris Leschinsky
The pockets in Leschinsky's self-disinfecting suit expand to release chemicals and kill viruses. Photo Credit: Boris Leschinsky

MAHWAH, N.J. — Mark Leschinsky of Mahwah was 4 years old and trying to get out of the rain when he told his dad that cars should have remote-controlled extenders to deliver umbrellas.

It was his idea for a self-disinfecting suit for healthcare workers that got Mark inducted into the National Gallery For America's Young Inventors.

At all of 9 years old, Mark "invents something almost every week," his father, Boris, told Daily Voice.

And although most of the notions have already been suggested by others, the special suit inspired by the Ebola virus wasn't.

Mark was sitting in Starbucks last year waiting for his dad to get coffee when TV images of people wearing what he described as "strange yellow suits [that] you only see in scary movies" captivated him.

"It was hard to believe that even despite wearing this enormously big hazmat suit, the doctor still got infected with the Ebola virus," the young inventor said in his National Gallery application.

Although the idea came to him quickly, the prototype took some time.

"There were times when I was almost ready to quit because it was very difficult to find the right things that would work," Mark said in the application. "But the thought of doctors and nurses [who] are treating Ebola patients, and are not afraid to die in order to help other people, kept me going."

The day before Thanksgiving last year, he figured it out: a three-layer suit filled with a disinfecting solution that kills viruses distributed through small holes in the lining.

Leschinksy was recently accepted into Mensa International — the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world — and is taking an engineering and inventions course online at the Johns Hopkins University.

Mark's suit was under consideration by American Clean Stat, a safety equipment company.

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