Chair Ladies - Eimear Duff

Eimear Duff is the lovely chair of DCU Scoliosis society and not to mention, our lovely HerCampus Secretary. Eimear is 21 years of age and is a third-year student from Pats studying Music and Irish. She hopes to do a masters in Primary Education after she graduates. Her interests include playing six instruments (Piano, Fiddle, Ukulele, Cello, Piano Accordion and Tin Whistle), dancing, acting and playing with her bestie, golden retriever Ben. 

It was a pleasure interviewing Eimear, I really admire how she founded her society and her story that came along with it! A true GirlBoss. 

1. What made you initially join the society you are now running?

My society is the DCU Scoliosis Society. I founded this society in November 2017. I suffered with Scoliosis when I was 15 and received my surgery during my Junior Cert year. I noticed at that time that there weren’t many facilities available for young people to go to when going through a similar situation, for young people to raise awareness and to raise money. There are groups for parents but very few for young people, so I decided to stand up and try provide this service to young people. My aim with the rise of this society is to raise awareness for Scoliosis, as so many people don’t know what it is, and how serious of a condition it actually is. We also raise funds for Straight Ahead, which is a Scoliosis Charity who works in conjunction with CMRF Crumlin. This society is the worlds first university-run Scoliosis Soc. I wanted to raise awareness for Scoliosis, normalize this hidden disability it in everyday life and also raise funds for Straight Ahead. I also wanted to provide a space for people to talk about their experiences and to help other people.

2. Name three people who inspire you daily?

Deirdre McDonnell: One of the women who work with Straight Ahead. Deirdre had one of the worst cases of Scoliosis ever seen. Nobody knew what was wrong with her at the time, there were many different theories but none confirmed. Deidre went on to suffer from lung and heart failure. She went under the knife again after numerous surgeries, with the odds of survival against her. She was the first person in Ireland to receive MAGEC rods, this is a rod that is inserted along the spine like an accordion and over time is extended using a magnet on the outside of the body. And thankfully it was a HUGE success. Today, Deirdre is one of the top ladies in Straight Ahead and has dedicated her life to raising awareness and funds for Scoliosis. She now lives a full life and is engaged, soon to be married.

Emily Donnelly: I know its cheesy seeing as I’m part of the HerCampus DCU committee with her. But honestly, that girl is amazing!!! I don’t know about her personal life but I know she has had it rough, but still manages to be so positive and strong. I struggle a lot in my life with many different things and things really get me down, but I look at Emily and she makes me smile. She is the perfect example that things get better and life is what you make it. She is such a hard worker in HerCampus and no matter what happens she fights past it and continues to do her utmost to make HerCampus amazing. She’s not afraid to be herself no matter what, and I really aspire to be that way too.

My mammy: Again, its cheesy I know. But I find my mammy very inspiring because she has everything she has done. She has raised 3 children, ran her own business, helped my dad set up his, all while trying to keep friendships up and most importantly keep up her gym membership. My mammy has had a lot of difficulties in her life, from losing her dad at a young age, having to look after her own mother for years until her passing, my own Scoliosis surgery and the numerous rugby injuries that my 2 brothers obtained on a daily basis. My mother has thought me so much, and I wouldn’t be the girl I am today without her.

3. What are the rays of sunshine and the clouds of rain aspects of charing a society?

The rays of sunshine are definitely the new friends I’ve made, the opportunities I have received and the confidence I have most definitely gained.

I think that there are many clouds of rain, apart from maybe the drama that comes along with Clubs and Socs in all universities.

I love chairing a society and wouldn't change it for the world.

4. What are your college staples to get you through the college day?

COFFEE!!! I run of about 8 cups of coffee a day. I literally can’t function without it. Apart from coffee, a good, cute notebook, a fun pen and a funky bag.

5.  What is your favourite college memory?

My favourite college memory is definitely the night of DCU Scoliosis Societies first big event An Absolute Bender. I walked into NuBar to see the place full with people, with a DJ performing and my committee all going around collecting money. All night I was so busy and distracted getting all performers sorted, and then the moment I got to stand back and breath I realised what I had just done. I collapsed to the ground in the street and cried to myself at what I had accomplished. Never in my life did I think I would be capable of creating such a thing.

6. For people who are somewhat shy at the prospect of joining a society, what advice would you give to them?

Go for it!!! We are all so welcoming in societies in societies and only love to see and meet new people. It definitely helps build your confidence and you will make so many new friends.

7. Would you consider yourself a GirlBoss? And with that, what defines a GirlBoss, in your opinion?

I’m not sure if I would consider myself a GirlBoss, I’m honestly not that great. But I am surrounded by so many GirlBosses in my life that I could never measure up to.

8. What should we look forward to with your society this year?

We hope to have lots of fundraising events throughout the year, from table quizzes to pub-crawls and so much more. We hope to be hosting a very large event in DCU in semester 2 with many surgeons, charity workers and sufferers. This year is going to be bigger and better than last year for sure.

9. Describe your society in 6 words?

Fun, inclusive, charity, awareness, friendship

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