Miracle gel wins Maddison scholarship

24 April 2018

Palmerston North Girls’ High School student, Maddison McQueen-Davies, celebrated winning Summerset’s $5,000 Eureka Awards scholarship at the awards ceremony at Government House last night..

The 15-year-old’s passion for science and public speaking sparked her entry in the Ageing Well category with her proposal to fix cartilage and help osteoarthritis sufferers.

Applicants had to explain how science and technology could be used to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life. Maddison’s topic explored a gel currently being developed and tested in the United States.

“Fifty percent of New Zealanders over the age of 65 have osteoarthritis, which stops them from living the lives they want to live.”

Maddison explains the gel, which can be injected into damaged cartilage, would be able to help keep elderly active and involved in activities they enjoy.

“Care for the elderly is really important to me. I’m really passionate about the gel after seeing how it can help those with osteoarthritis live a full life.

“My mum has had three knee replacements, and my granddad has had two. I have seen they’re not perfect. You need six weeks off work, they only last 15-20 years, and there is a massive waiting list,” says Maddison.

Maddison says researching the gel and preparing her entry was a rewarding, interesting process. She is hoping to attend an Ivy League university in the United States, and says Summerset’s scholarship will help to make that possible.

“I felt really proud that I managed to get it.”

Summerset CEO Julian Cook says Maddison’s entry showed her passion and enthusiasm. “It’s great to see someone so young determined to make a difference to the lives of older people.

“Our hope behind sponsoring the Aging Well scholarship was for young people to explore innovative and thought-provoking ways to progress current thinking around aging and aging well. Maddison has certainly done that.”

Eureka Summerset Scholarship Maddison McQueen Davies 2017

Eureka Summerset Scholarship winner for 2017,
Maddison McQueen-Davies