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Countdown bring Waikato kids’ dreams to life at hospital

The face of the 2016 Countdown Appeal Daniel Belcher

Aiming higher once again to make children’s dreams come true with the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

Now in its tenth year, the 2016 Appeal is in full swing to raise $174,975 for Waikato Child and Youth Health service, Waikids, so they can purchase vital hospital equipment that saves patients’ lives.

The Appeal, that started on 1 August and ends 23 October, gives Countdown customers across 18 Waikato stores the opportunity to purchase wristbands or raffle tickets in-store as well as donate at the checkout or via online shopping to support children like Daniel Belcher, this year’s face of the Waikids campaign.

Countdown team with Diane Belcher

Top left Ryan McMullen, Countdown Central North Island Zone Manager, with Waikato store team members and Diane Belcher kneeling front right.

At 7 years of age, Daniel lives on a farm with his family on the outskirts of Cambridge. Always busy, a young boy with great character, a cheeky sense of humour and prone to making friends and people smile wherever he goes.

He attends Hautapu Primary School, goes to weekly swimming lessons, horse rides fortnightly and attends a sport’s programme for children with disabilities twice a week.

Daniel was diagnosed with Spina Bifida in 2009, a Neural Tube Defect known as a ‘snowflake’ condition because no two people with it will be affected in the same way.

Daniel is regularly treated by the team at Waikids. His mum, Diane Belcher is thrilled that he could be the poster boy for this amazing campaign.

“The team at Waikids have become like family to me. I feel truly lucky to have them by my side with many of them caring for Daniel since he was born” says Diane.

“Daniel has underdone 31 procedures and operations, and attended 149 appointments at Waikids.

“As a parent, I see how hard the staff work. Health budgets are always finely balanced and equipment doesn’t get any cheaper, and as a patient or care giver of a patient, we expect the very best.

“So from this mummy, to the team at Countdown – thank you so much for your ongoing support for our hospitals, our home away from home.”

We’re aiming bigger and better for this campaign says Countdown Central North Island Zone Manager, Ryan McMullen.

“Our team feels so privileged to be able to provide this fundraising support along with our local valued customers.

“Each year we like to challenge ourselves and this year is no different as we make it our obligation to make a difference to these children and their families’ lives.”

The Appeal is now in its tenth year and has raised more than $9million for 14 hospitals across New Zealand.

2016’s Wish List includes a unit to help with young children’s vision, more equipment for the multisensory room, a portable blood pressure machine, vein finder, and an improved Fibrescope for doctors to assess and diagnose babies and young children.

For more information on the Appeal and wish list visit the Waikids website or Countdown’s Kids Hospital Appeal.

Last year’s wish list allowed for a Retinal Camera to be purchased that provides real-time monitoring of babies’ eye development that increases the chances of normal vision.

Earlier this year, the Appeal enabled Waikids to open the Multisensory room that took three and a half years of planning and fundraising to create.

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