Slowly Down the Mekong for A4D
February, 2023 – Fifteen paddlers recently completed a challenging 145km canoe trip down the Mekong River in northern Laos to raise awareness and funds for Action4Diabetes (A4D)
Despite facing numerous obstacles such as rapids, whirlpools, and submerged rocks, the team successfully completed the journey with a great sense of accomplishment and camaraderie.
The daily challenges faced by the A4D paddlers pale in comparison to the struggles faced by young people living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in Laos. This incurable but treatable condition requires multiple insulin injections and blood tests daily, making it a constant battle for survival. Without access to free life-saving medical supplies and the support of the few doctors in the country who can diagnose and treat the condition, these young people cannot survive childhood.
A4D’s Clinic Support Programme aims to provide life-saving medical support to these disadvantaged young people with T1D. It costs about $10 USD per week for a year to support one young person with T1D and keep them alive.
With the Slowly Down the Mekong initiative, these 15 paddlers were able to raise a little over 20,000USD for A4D. This amount is enough to ensure 40 young people have the necessary medical care and supplies for a whole year under A4D’s Clinic Support Programme.
Charles Toomey, one of A4D’s co-founders who led the team down the Mekong, reiterates that the charity’s mission is “giving health and hope to young people living with T1D in South-East Asia.” He goes on to say that “part of A4D’s DNA has always been to work in partnership and collaboration, over the last 7 years we have forged great relationships with brilliant partners in both the public and private sector to ensure access to essential medical care and life-saving medical supplies. Together we can definitely achieve more, and like the saying goes – The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.“
Since its inception in 2016, A4D has worked tirelessly to support young people with T1D all over South-East Asia. Today we have a presence in 6 different countries, supporting close to 700 young people living with this condition.