'Click-4-Crumlin' Clongowes Duck Push goes online
Clongowes Wood College SJ students will begin their annual Duck Push in aid of CMRF Crumlin today Wednesday 27th of May at 11.15am.
Before social distancing, at the start of June for the past 26 years, the Transition Year students in Clongowes Wood College SJ in Clane in County Kildare have pushed a 3 metre high duck from CHI at Crumlin in Dublin to Limerick - a gruelling journey of 260kms.
This year, the students want to continue the tradition of the Duck Push for sick children in Ireland despite the current restrictions. They have used their ingenuity and smartly transitioned the Duck Push online. The distance will remain the same with each of the 40 students running 6.5km in their own locality to virtually complete the duck push, which they are calling ‘Click-4-Crumlin.’
Since its inception in 1994, the Duck Push has raised nearly €2 million for vital equipment and services in CHI at Crumlin. All monies raised through this year's event will fund a PCR machine to test for COVID19.
Dr. Michael McDermott, Consultant Paediatric Pathologist in CHI at Crumlin, explains why the PCR machine is vital for the hospital. "PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction and it's a type of machine that we use for a number of tests but in this instance it would be detecting COVID19. Normally when we go to diagnose a bacterial infection we try to grow the bacteria on an agar plate, and that's familiar to most students of science. With a virus what you normally try to do, because you can't grow it easily, is you try to detect antibodies in the blood stream. You're really looking for the body's response to the virus and that antibody test is a critical part of how we usually diagnose viral diseases and it will be a critical part of how we ultimately get to grips with Coronavirus. We want to know who has the disease and who has had it before. However, PCR is a technique we use to directly detect the virus itself not the response of the body to the virus so it can produce a positive result much earlier in the disease than antibody tests.
We know that children are not that badly affected by Coronavirus so far. They seem to be better able to tolerate it, which is good news but some children do get sick. We've heard in recent weeks about a particular type of Coronavirus creating complications for children so called Kawasaki disease, which is starting to appear in North America and Europe and it's making us concerned that we need to keep a close on eye on it for children. It's not just the children who have the virus that we need to check. We need PCR machines to diagnose children coming in who don't have the virus. The reason for that is that for every single little child who comes through the hospital or who has an operation or an investigation, all the staff managing that child need to assess the risk and in many they will need to do a COVID19 test to see if they can safely proceed or need to wear protective equipment. So really we are at a critical point of needing to do lots and lots of tests for COVID19 to make the hospital work efficiently for children and their families. We're seeking a PCR machine from this fundraising to help us increase our ability to do that."
Denise Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the Children’s Health Foundation says, “we are delighted that students from Clongowes Wood College have continued to support us so generously every year. Their tenacity and imagination to continue this epic fundraiser is a credit to the values instilled in them by their families and the school. The Duck Push is a fantastic event, and by bringing it online in this virtual way each student is still playing their part to cross the finish line and achieve the target. Thank you to everyone who has organised and will participate in this great event, we are extremely grateful.”
For more information and to support the Clongowes Wood College ‘Duck Push’ please go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/click-4-crumlin
Watch School Captain Mikey Mina Ronayne Introduce Click-4-Crumlin
Watch Transition Year Student Tadhg Wilson interview Dr. Michael McDermott from CHI at Crumlin about the vital need of a PCR machine