NATURE THERAPY: Emma Cockerill, Kim Craig, Colleen O’Connor, Justine Crompton and Carol Horton were pleased to receive a two-seater kayak for Kim, who was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in 2013.
NATURE THERAPY: Emma Cockerill, Kim Craig, Colleen O’Connor, Justine Crompton and Carol Horton were pleased to receive a two-seater kayak for Kim, who was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in 2013. Contributed

Kind kayak donation keeps teacher paddling

A TWO-seater kayak has allowed a group of friends at Tannum Sands to continue its tradition of kayaking together every Sunday morning.

For five years Kim Craig and four friends would paddle out to an island on the river and back for a social venture.

But in 2013 Mrs Craig was diagnosed with a secondary melanoma on the brain and lung, leaving her without the balance and strength needed for the kayak trip.

Her friends raised $700 to purchase a kayak, but Viking Kayaks Australia offered to donate the women a two-seater kayak.

The money has now gone towards cancer research.

With Colleen O'Connor behind her in her two-seat kayak, Mrs Craig was able to continue the tradition late last month.

Mrs Craig's husband Rob said she was not able to kayak since her diagnosis.

"It used to be something she'd do every week, so it's a good release ... paddling up the river is more about socialising," he said.

"Kim's very appreciative of the effort her friends had gone to to pay for the kayak and the effort they go to include her."

Mrs Craig is well known within the community and has been a teacher at Boyne Island State School since 1989, teaching students from pre-school to Year 3.

Carol Horton said the group called their kayak trips "nature therapy".

"It's given us all a focus to get her back out on the river and we all felt a big sense of achievement to have taken her out again," she said.

A fundraiser to assist with Mrs Craig's medical expenses will be held this Saturday.

At the Tannum Sands Surf Lifesaving Club, a band called Cinderella Syndrome will entertain crowds from 6.30pm and raffles will begin at 7pm followed by an auction at 8pm.



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