By Kieran O’Mahony
A KINSALE student, who was part of a team that won two major science prizes, donated part of her prize money to save the life of a baby girl in Ukraine.
Ciara Judge from Kinsale Community College donated €1,000 to Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International (CCI).
Her donation saved the life of 14-month-old Katya who underwent cardiac surgery last month.
Ciara, and her colleagues Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, won the 2013 BT Young Scientist of the Year and the 2014 Google Science Global Research Competition.
Ciara was anxious to use part of her prizemoney to help the charity continue its work with children in the Chernobyl region.
‘My family has had a longstanding connection with CCI and they encouraged us kids to be conscious of others in need and the importance of paying it forward. This is why I decided to share my good fortune and sponsor a heart operation,’ said Ciara.
‘I’ve grown up with the charity and I went personally to see Adi Roche to donate the money and she was extremely grateful.’
Ciara’s donation went directly into CCI’s Cardiac Programme of flying doctors and a team of international cardiac surgeons flew into Eastern Ukraine last month to carry out urgently needed operations on babies in the region suffering from genetic heart effects.
Ciara has been involved in fundraising for CCI since she was seven, and took to busking on the streets of Kinsale to raise much-needed funds for the charity.
Last year Ciara and some friends also produced a Kinsale cookbook which raised €700 for CCI.
Ciara, along with Emer and Sophie, were honoured this week by President Michael D Higgins at a reception in Aras an Uachrtarain to mark their achievements in science.
‘Ciara, Emer and Sophie can be very proud of their achievements. Ciara’s donation demonstrates so much compassion and humanity at such a young age. It is wonderful to see and I am confident that with girls like this the future is in good hands,’ said Adi Roche.