Fiji, a country of 333 tropical islands situated in the South Pacific Ocean, proved an easy choice for Diabetes Tasmania's latest charity challenge. Diabetes Tasmania Ambassador, Caroline Thomas, and CEO, Caroline Wells, along with eight fellow adventurers and two guides recently spent 10 days paddling around the Yasawa Islands, an archipelago of some 20 volcanic islands located north west of Lautoka, Fiji's second largest city. "The kayaking was fantastic", said Caroline Thomas. "We saw the gorgeous Fiji of clear blue water and coconut tree-lined sandy beaches. Though a lot of the trip was picture perfect, we did get some challenges with the trade winds on a couple of days and the waves were so high you couldn’t see the kayak in front of you! I was very scared and pleased when we made it back to shore."
The trip was designed not only to appreciate the beautiful surroundings, but to raise awareness and funds for people living with diabetes both at home in Tasmania (Australia), and abroad, through the IDF Life for a Child Programme. During their time in Fiji, the group visited Lautoka Hospital, one of the three pilot sites supported by Life for a Child, meeting local staff and several children who receive care for type 1 diabetes. It was a highlight for all, says Caroline: "We raised over AUD12,000, an amazing effort for a group of 10 people. Some of the money will go to help kids who live with diabetes in places like Fiji where otherwise they may not survive."
Life for a Child would like to acknowledge and thank Caroline Thomas, Caroline Wells and the team from Diabetes Tasmania for their ongoing support of the Programme.