A Northland community appeal has raised $81,000 for a stock of blood sugar sensors to monitor and control type 1 diabetes in children.

Every year the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal collects donations from customers to provide the Northland District Health Board with extra materials, equipment or opportunities to help children with health problems.

And every year, a local child becomes the Countdown Kid poster child, with a different one for every health board region in the country. The face of the Northland 2018 appeal was Whaiawa Tito, who has type 1 diabetes.

On Tuesday, staff from Whangārei supermarket Countdown Okara presented Northland DHB Child Health Services with a cheque, and Whaiawa and her whānau were there too.

Her parents, Lisa and Patrick Tito, currently pay for her to use the ideal kind of blood sugar sensor to monitor and control her condition. 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 improve their diabetes control.


Northland DHB chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain said almost $800,000 has been received from the appeal over the past 11 years.

Communities throughout New Zealand supported Countdown to raise $1.2 million nationwide from August until the end of October.