Dream reef trip for woman allergic to cold water
A WOMAN who suffers a rare medical condition that makes her allergic to cold temperatures has been able to fulfil a lifelong ambition to visit the Great Barrier Reef.
Brisbane resident Erin Condrin has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disorder that affects the connective tissues supporting skin, bones, blood vessels, organs and tissues.
Ms Condrin, 20, is a wheelchair user, and also suffers from cold-induced anaphylaxis, which if left untreated, could be fatal if her body is exposed to cold temperatures.
The condition makes swimming in the open ocean a challenging prospect.
"Cold water's a big trigger," she said.
"The last time I went swimming was a long time ago and that was in a heated pool."
With the help of community based charity Young Australia League, Ms Condrin was last month able to tick one item off her bucket list: seeing live coral on the Great Barrier Reef.
She and her assistance dog Lacey were taken out from Cairns to Moore Reef on-board Sunlover Reef Cruises, where they were able to board a semi-submersible and glass-bottom boat to see the natural wonder underwater.
Ms Condrin said she was amazed to see the coral underwater in person.
"It was absolutely beautiful, the different colours of the coral and every size of fish - it was amazing to see," she said.
She said she was also impressed with the wheelchair facilities on the Reef trip.