MANY precious lives may be saved thanks to the amazing spirit and fundraising efforts of Accor Hotel staff across the Pacific and their charity partner Cure Kids.
The hotel group is committed to raising more than $300,000 through its fourth biennial Accor Extreme Challenge to Cure Kids.
This year's event will see 28 teams — made up of Accor staff from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji — being joined by local sponsor company teams.
Money raised will be given to Cure Kids Fiji to invest in funding equipment and health education. Accor has been a long-term supporter of Cure Kids.
"This is not a race to see who 'wins'. Everyone will be a winner however, this is a physical event," said event director Lee Pearce who is also the general manager of Novotel Nadi.
He said Accor strived to not only save lives but also improve the quality of life and prolong the life of children who live with life-threatening illnesses.
Over a life-changing five days, the competitors will swim 1.5 kilometres, run 10km and manage two person kayaking. They will also get to experience some of Fiji's amazing and unique activities through the support and generosity of Sigatoka River Safaris and Zip Line Fiji. The Suva to Nadi challenge begins in Suva on Monday and ends at Sofitel on Friday.
"There are a series of challenges and clues you must complete, so the fastest team may not necessarily lead the group."
The 2010 event saw teams carry out a makeover of the Nadi Maternity Ward as well as help fund a pilot study into early screening of rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Fiji has a high prevalence of RHD.
Seven Ministry of Health nurses were trained to use and read echocardiograms. Only a little larger than a laptop computer, the echocardiograms are easily transportable into rural areas and outer islands and trained nurses can detect possible and probable cases of RHD and refer patients for specialist cardiology screening.
Proceeds of the 2012 event will help to continue this work as well as help fund maintenance of vital equipment Cure Kids bought for the Lautoka and Nadi Maternity Hospitals, including incubators, heart monitors, trolleys and bassinettes.