Meet Edel from Athenry
At the age of 19 Edel has already been listed in the 20 under 20 2017 (journal.ie) and 30 under 30 2016 (The Sunday Business Post) lists of people to watch. Now a third year BioTech student at NUIG, Edel started on her road to innovation at the young age of 15. She entered her "Free Feet" design into the Young Scientist of the Year competition and she impressed the judges winning "Best Individual Award".
If you haven't already heard of Edel or seen the numerous articles written about her; then it's time to read on. Growing up in a family of 8, of her five siblings four went on to study science and one brother became a nurse. He ended up caring of those with Parkinson disease. Her neighbour also suffered from the disease and Edel wanted to use her interest in science to try help. "Free Feet" was envisioned. A product which uses laser technology to help those suffering from "freezing of gait"; one of the many symptoms associated with Parkinson's. It allows the user to have a visual cue to help them focus on the action of walking, reducing the stumbling effect many suffers endure. For more information check out Edel's page here.
So for the last 4 years Edel has not only been developing her product, she recently successful ran a fundit page which raised over €20,000 for the development of this product. Using a company based in Shannon, she is now at the stage where the product is being created on a larger scale. Getting up and down to Shannon won't be an issue for the Galway based student as she is a Nissan Generation Next Select Ambassador. This means she has received a lovely new Nissan Juke fully taxed and insured for the year. A great perk to come out of a lot of hard work!