Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal

Nationwide, communities supported Countdown to raise $1.2 million from August until the end of October. The Northland community appeal raised $81,000 and staff from Countdown Okara presented Northland DHB Child Health Services with a cheque in November.

Four year-old Whaiawa Tito, like her dad Pat, has Type 1 diabetes. There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, and it requires constant careful self-management and good medical care. Whaiawa is the Northland face of the 2018 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

Each year, a group of staff at Countdown Okara in Whangārei use their own money to buy items for the Baton’s Up competition they organise as part of the annual Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

This year the team managed to hit the target well before the three-month appeal was up. Countdown Group Manager for the Upper Northland Region, Madison Taylor said that the Okara store had to source raffle books from other stores to keep up with demand.

Nationwide, communities supported Countdown to raise $1.2 million from August until the end of October.  The Northland community appeal raised $81,000 and staff from Countdown Okara presented Northland DHB Child Health Services with a cheque in November.

The face of the Northland 2018 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, Whaiawa Tito and whānau attended the celebration. Whaiawa lives with type 1 diabetes and her parent’s Lisa and Patrick Tito pay for her to use a Freestyle Libre Blood Sugar Sensor to monitor and control her condition.  Patrick also has type 1 diabetes and is aware that he is a role model for his daughter in how he manages his diabetes on a daily basis.  He said it is neat to see Countdown and the community coming together to help Whaiawa and other kids by supporting this appeal.

The $81,000 raised this year will go towards buying a stock of blood sugar sensors to loan out to parents who can’t afford the device. The sensor gives parents and children a break from the daily finger pricks required to monitor insulin levels and enables them to do a period of intensive sugar monitoring to try to improve their diabetes control.

Northland DHB Chief Executive Dr Nick Chamberlain said it is amazing to have received almost $800,000 over the last 11 years from the Appeal.

“I’m blown away, they’ve delivered more than we expected. 

When you walk around our hospitals, you see the significant investment”


See the Northland District Health Board’s latest media release here: https://www.northlanddhb.org.nz/news-and-publications/news/community-continue-to-support-countdown-kids/

See our promotional poster to share here: 2018 – Countdown Lids Hospital Appeal Poster