Thanksgiving is a time to acknowledge all the blessings that have been bestowed on us — even if life has thrown in some nasty hard knocks along the way.
For the Hiscock family of Buchans and the Flynn family of Forteau and Gander, their worlds have changed over time with many of those hard knocks – both emotionally and physically. It's just life and they deal with it and they are very thankful.
In the case of Matthew and Cameron Flynn, they were both diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes – Matthew at age one and Cameron at age two. Matthew is now 22 and Cameron is 16.
Thanks to the love and care of their families, the Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre and the research already completed by Diabetes Canada, their lives are as close to “normal” as can be.
Matthew is completing his fifth and final year of business at MUN, while Cameron is in Grade 11. Both love baseball. Cameron spent the summer coaching the sport in Gander and he also loves volleyball.
Beginning with lots of training in how to give insulin needles and deal with juvenile diabetes, their parents Donna and Roger Flynn have brought their children through the ups and downs, trips to the Janeway, and late night readings to where they are now independent young men.
They will be forever thankful to the people who have given them support along the way – especially their parents – Marcus and Pats Hiscock and Richard and (the late) Eliza Flynn.
Thanksgiving weekend was spent in Buchans again for the walk the Hiscock's hosting the family – campfires, long talks, competitive NHL viewing – Montreal vs. Toronto, the annual walk and Thanksgiving dinner rounded out the weekend for them.
'Mark' Hiscock as he is known, is not ready to stop what he helped organize so many years ago though.
In light of last year's Come Home Year event and the number of people around, this year's total will probably be lower. Although all sponsor money isn't in yet, he has a goal in mind.
“The number at the end of last year's walk was $133,832,” he said, “and I really believe now, we're going to be close to $140,000. And I say this now, God willing, we'll put a push to hit $150,00 next year.”
Support in sponsorship comes from across Canada with family and friends everywhere adding to the fund. This year's walk included approximately 50 people.
“There are people that attended this walk that have attended for the full 21 years,” says Hiscock, “and they go around and look at our display of photos and the posters every time.”
“People are unbelievable,” he says of the contributors. “People are coming up to you and saying, 'I was expecting you', and people are dropping off their donations without me asking.
“I was always good at collecting money for the (Buchans United) church or whatever organization I was involved with but this thing has just been mind-blowing.”
There has been no personal monetary gain for any those involved with this Diabetes Canada event. T-shirts and other Diabetes Canada sponsored items have been distributed to participants. The people who donate directly in Buchans, Forteau, Buchans Junction, Millertown, Gander, Winterton and across Canada have been generous and their generosity has certainly been appreciated.
Matthew and Cameron have certainly benefited from the ongoing research – they've gone from needles to insulin pumps.