LILI Kelly and her best friend Geronimo are encouraging pooches and their people to get behind Dogs for Diabetes.
The Ocean Reef 11-year-old will walk Labrador Geronimo at the East Perth event on April 7, raising money for the Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre in Stirling.
Lili is keen to give back to the centre, which has supported her since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2017 and helped her meet other children with the disease.
Her mother Tami Ryan said Geronimo was Lili’s best friend because he helped her manage her diabetes.
“When Lili’s sugar levels are dropping, Geronimo alerts Lili by nose bumping her and if that doesn’t work then he will bark at us,” she said.
“Lili is so grateful for the help from the family centre that Dogs for Diabetes seemed the perfect way for her and Geronimo to be able to give back and thank them for all they do.”
The event involves a 5km walk around the Swan River, starting and ending at Trinity College, followed by activities including a dog agility course, bouncy castle, face painting and herb planting for children, the chance to meet Instagram’s Samoyed Siblings, market stalls and food and coffee trucks.
Chief executive Bec Johnson said the centre did not receive government funding so fundraising from the inaugural event would help it continue its work.
“It will be an exciting, active day out for the whole family, and bring the Perth community together to support West Australians impacted by a tough disease,” she said.
“Dogs are special and important childhood friends, especially for kids living with a complex medical condition like type 1.
“Dogs for Diabetes celebrates themes of friendship and unconditional support, which is what the family centre brings to the type 1 community of WA.”
Registration costs $25 per dog with humans free and the event runs from 8.30am to 1pm.
Register at www.dogsfordiabetes.com.au.