Inspiring local student shortlisted for prestigious award

by Rebecca Ryan

A Stepaside student said his ‘day was made’ when he heard he was nominated as a finalist in Ireland’s top youth volunteer awards, the 2019 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.

Benat Broderick (15) from Blackrock was nominated for his voluntary efforts with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Benat was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects your lungs and pancreas, at 19 months old.

Since then he goes through a rigorous routine of medication, nebulisers and intensive physiotherapy every day.

“On a typical day before school I would do my Nebulisers and my PEP which is a mouthpiece airway clearance which all takes about 30 minutes.

“I then would go to school and then after school I would do another nebuliser which only takes about 10 minutes then at night-time, I do the same routine as before school,” he told Dublin Gazette.

Benat is a third-year student at Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School and in November his Principal Barbara Mulhall asked him would he be interested in applying for the Community Awards.

The humble student said he was attending a hospital appointment at Crumlin Hospital on February 6 when he got the news that he was shortlisted in the top 20 finalists.

“I had just finished my hospital appointment which was quite stressful and then, as myself and my Mum were leaving the hospital, I went onto social media, where I then realised I made it to the top 20.

“It was such amazing news as the hospital appointment was exhausting enough, so coming out to the amazing news really made my day.”

Benat has ambitions of one day working in broadcasting and to have a career in journalism and no doubt this inspiring young man will achieve anything he sets his hand to.

School Principal Barbara Mulhall told Dublin Gazette that they are very proud of Benat.

She said that despite all of his health challenges he never complains, and he is passionate about educating people about the condition and organising fundraisers.

“[Benat has] written articles online and on national and local newspapers and he has been interviewed on RTE TV and Radio as well as BBC. As a result of his advocacy and the CF campaign, the HSE now funds the drug for Irish patients. He is now engaged in campaigning for similar access to UK sufferers.

“Everyone in Stepaside ETSS is proud of Benat’s great achievements and advocacy,” said Principal Mulhall.

You can follow Benat on Twitter @BenatBroderick

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