Twenty Fijian kids and teens living with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) enjoyed a day in the Mamanuca Islands today, at the annual ‘Christmas at Vomo’ event by Cure Kids Fiji, thanks to Vomo Island Fiji and Captain Cook Cruises Fiji.
Vomo Island Fiji also presented a cheque for the sum of FJ$25,000 to Cure Kids Fiji, a result of 12-month fundraising efforts through guest contributions, room night donations, and the Mt VOMO Sunrise Challenge.
Rheumatic heart disease (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, at least 60 deaths a year are attributed to RHD.
In 2014, a five-year partnership between Cure Kids Fiji & Ministry of Health and Medical Services commenced, with the aim of preventing and reducing the impact of RHD in Fiji through early detection, clinical care, and support and counselling to diagnosed children & their families.
“VOMO Island Fiji is dedicated to assisting the Cure Kids Fiji cause, whilst bringing some extra joy to the lives of those living with illnesses,” says General Manager Mark Leslie. “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.”
The children were joined by Fiji Airways’ Fijiana 15’s women’s rugby stars and mentors, Lailanie Burnes and Torkia Semo.
“Many young people living with RHD express feelings of isolation and pressure to keep their diagnosis secret for fear that they will be treated differently by their peers. Events such as these are an excellent to develop peer-to-peer networks for support and encouragement,” says Jennifer Miller, Cure Kids Fiji. “We are grateful to be able to continue this event year on year with the support of VOMO Island Fiji & Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, without whom it would not have been possible.”