9 December, 2018, 10:45 am
TWENTY children and adolescents living with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) were pampered with a cruise to the Mamanucas last Friday for the annual “Christmas at VOMO” event.
The fun adventure was organised by Vomo Island and Cure Kids Fiji with help from Captain Cook Cruises Fiji.
The exclusive luxury property also presented a $25,000 cheque to Cure Kids Fiji, the result of a 12-month fundraising effort through guest contributions, room night donations, and the Mt Vomo Sunrise Challenge.
General manager Vomo Island Fiji, Mark Leslie said they were dedicated to assisting the Cure Kids Fiji cause, and wanted to bring some extra joy to the lives of those living with the illnesses.
“These funds as well as Vomo’s ongoing support will go a long way to helping Cure Kids Fiji extend the reach of their vital child health programs in Fiji, and ultimately save lives,” he said.
Cure Kids Fiji representative Jennifer Miller said they were grateful for the resort and Captain Cook Cruises’ support.
She added many young people living with RHD expressed feelings of isolation and pressure to keep their diagnosis secret, out of fear they would be treated differently by their peers.
“Events such as these are excellent to develop peer-to-peer networks for support and encouragement,” Ms Miller said.
The children were joined by Fiji Airways’ Fijiana 15s women’s rugby stars and mentors, Lailanie Burnes and Torika Semo. RHD is a serious heart condition that affects 1 in 50 children in Fiji, one of the highest known rates in the world and a leading cause of death for our young people.
In Fiji, about 60 deaths a year are attributed to RHD.