Arielle Furzeland, right, gets a hug from sister Leah during the presentation of her Help Fill A Dream getaway at Country Grocer on Twelfth Street in Nanaimo on Wednesday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Help Fill a Dream sending Nanaimo girl to Disney World

Foundation partners with Country Grocer to give Arielle Furzeland and her family a January vacation

A girl living with Type 1 juvenile diabetes will get away from the dreary Nanaimo weather for some fun and sun in Florida.

Arielle Furzeland, 14, was granted a dream vacation from the Help Fill A Dream Foundation and will embark on the trip Tuesday, Jan 15, that will take her and her family to Disney World and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Furzeland loves dolphins and chose the aquarium because she will have a chance to meet Winter the dolphin who starred in the movie Dolphin Tale.

The foundation supports children with life-threatening conditions and their families.

“I’ve been into dolphins for years, Grade 5 is the earliest that I can remember. (I chose) Disney World because both my sister and I want to go and do some fun stuff there. Also my mom has told me that I used to like the ride ‘It’s a Small World,’ so I want to ride on it again and see what it’s like,” said Furzeland.

Furzeland said it’s hard living with diabetes.

“It gets quite annoying,” said Furzeland. “[Tuesday] in class I had to skip half of the class because my blood sugar was low and I actually didn’t get any work done.”

Craig Smith, Help Fill A Dream executive director, said this is the eighth year of the foundation has teamed with Country Grocer on the endeavour and a grand total of over $100,000 has been raised in that time.

Tammy Averill, Country Grocer marketing manager, said the company is happy to lend a hand.

“It just started out grassroots and it’s grown and we’ve met so many amazing kids and their families and it’s just great to keep those relationships,” said Averill. “We’ve seen the kids grow and they shop in our stores and now their siblings and families are benefiting from Help Fill A Dream, because they’re Island owned and operated, the same as us, it’s just an awesome fit.”

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