Rachael Theriault, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, will be on her way to Mexico later this month, thanks to the Help Fill a Dream Foundation. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Foundation helps Nanaimo teen fulfil tropical getaway dream

Rachael Theriault, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, headed to Mexico

Rachael Theriault hopes to enjoy a picture-perfect vacation in Mexico thanks to the efforts of a charitable organization and the community.

Theriault has Type 1 diabetes and always wanted a sunny getaway. Thanks in part to the Help Fill a Dream Foundation, which helps children with life-threatening conditions, she will head to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, in late January.

Theriault’s life changed after being diagnosed in 2015. She has spent long hours at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital trying to get her condition under control.

“I used to do a lot of sports before I was diagnosed and I had to stop all of them because of high and low blood sugar and along with having diabetes comes depression too,” said Theriault at a press conference at the south Nanaimo Country Grocer.

In addition to airfare and all-inclusive resort accommodations, she was given spending money, a zip-line excursion and an underwater camera, as she is interested in photography, something she said is an outlet.

“It got me outside as much as possible, but it didn’t wear on my heart or anything like that and I think it just grew and grew and I just love it so much,” Theriault said.

Craig Smith, Help Fill a Dream executive director, said the foundation met Theriault a year ago and realized she was a perfect candidate.

Theriault said she was surprised about the camera and said she will take a lot of pictures.

“If I can find a turtle, that would be really cool, dolphins, sand, just everything,” she said.

This is the seventh year that Country Grocer has teamed with the foundation and $87,000 has been raised during that time.


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