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Keeping a family tradition alive in Buchans

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BUCHANS, NL-The Hiscock family is not prepared to sit back and let juvenile diabetes take control over the lives of loved ones.

The Buchans is preparing for the 20th annual Walk for Diabetes.

In 1997, when Marcus and Pats Hiscock’s grandson Matthew Flynn was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age one, they and their families took it upon themselves to raise funds to help the Canadian Diabetes Association (now called Diabetes Canada) with research. Their resolve was strengthened when Matt’s younger brother was diagnosed at age two.

This year’s walk will take place July 29, 2 p.m and will start out from and end at the Buchans United Church Hall.  The five kilometre walk will take participants around the town during the Buchans Come Home Year (CHY) celebrations, so Hiscock is hoping it will include people who sponsored him, but weren’t always home to participate in the event.

“This year because it is CHY, we’re hoping to get more sponsors,” he said. “We’re also hoping to have more family members around to do the walk with us, because like Kim (Kennell, his niece and family) will be coming home. I sent her a sponsor sheet – she always does well. 

“And I sent one to Gary’s (his brother) wife, they pick up sponsors at their store.  Kim always did the walk (in Ontario) some other day so now she’ll be able to do it here in Buchans.”

Hiscock has been debating on ways to raise money in addition to the sponsors, but hasn’t completely decided if or what he will do. In previous years there have been bake sales, a fudge block on chances, and recycling through his former business.

“We've done so well for the past 19 years, I'm sure the 20th is going to be a success too,” he said.  “I’m hoping to do a little better canvassing in Grand Falls-Windsor.”  He’s encouraged by the personal contacts that he has had.  He is already receiving donations from friends through the mail.

While his grandson Matthew and his family have taken to the Internet on a fund raising site (Diabetes Canada - My Diabetes Fundraiser), Hiscock prefers the personal contact.

He says he has received pretty much one hundred percent support from those he has approached over the past 19 years.

“You get really excited sometimes, because who would have thought we would raise $124,000?  And the fact that we’re at the 20th year,” he said. “A few times we’ve said that this may be it, but I know the difference of that.

“How can you stop something that is so good. We enjoy doing it. People sponsor you freely. It’s just great. The big difference now without the store (Hiscock's 10 to 10) is collecting those sponsors, but I have time on my side. 

He continued, “I started out last year with 180 people to collect from, but I whittled it away. We raised $6500 last year. I won’t go out on a limb and say we should collect a certain amount.  I just know we should do well.”

People have always opened their wallets for this very important cause. Both Matthew and Cameron have spent a lot of time in Buchans over the years and participated in the walk and fund raising – they put a face on the condition for many people.

Their parents Roger and Donna Lynn Flynn as well as his parents Richard and (the late) Eliza Flynn and family have always secured support in Forteau, Labrador.  The walk has doubled as a great family gathering and a way to show support for Diabetes Canada and it’s research to find a cure.

“The boys still have a good interest in it,” Hiscock adds,  “and they are doing well.”

Matthew is in his fourth year at MUN and Cameron is now in high school and looking forward to a summer job coaching baseball. Both have had insulin pumps for years now, which not only helps regulate their blood sugar levels,  the devices have given them an extra bit of freedom to do what those without diabetes take for granted.

The Hiscock and Flynn families have raised a cumulative total of $124,000 in the past 19 years, a feat of which they are all proud.  

It’s cliché but its easy to say, “where did the time go?” as they look back on previous events.

“There’s times when I say, it can’t be 20, but we started when Matt was a year old and he will be 21 now in August,” says Hiscock.

 

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