Marathon for family
Dickson fundraising for Team Diabetes
The Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE – The love of a family goes far beyond mere mortality and those of us lucky enough to have it have a powerful tool to make a difference.
Such is the case with Catherine Dickson.
In January 2008, Dickson lost her sister Clara to complications from diabetes. Clara was, and still is, a major influence in her life.
“The greatest gift she ever gave me, growing up she would always say ‘Never begrudge anyone anything,’ because there’s lots to go around for everyone and if somebody has something then they deserve it,” she said. “That was a real life lesson.”
Dickson decided she wanted to do something in her sister’s memory and help find a cure for the disease that claimed her older sister. She became involved with Team Diabetes of the Canadian Diabetes Association, and is preparing to take part in a marathon in Greece on Nov. 5.
Team Diabetes promotes awareness and wellness through these marathons. People who participate in them are either diabetics themselves or have diabetes in their families.
They tap into marathons that are already established and Team Diabetes sends people to them.
“She’s still largely a part of my life,” Dickson said of her sister.
“And it (marathon) was nice for my mom and I. It was something she took a big interest in my doing. She made it her mission too. She was really happy that I was doing it in Clara’s memory.”
But in June of this year, while her mother was promoting her daughter’s marathon dream, the unthinkable happened.
“She was going to go in for surgery to prepare for dialysis,” Dickson said. “She got ill. She went into kidney failure and passed away.”
“The shock of losing my mom in July, I felt like an orphan and that totally took me by surprise because I’m a grown woman,” she said. “I have two daughters in university. And I thought, why do I feel this way?
“The three people in my life who gave me unconditional love, my father (who was also diabetic and died from cancer), my sister, Clara, my mother.
“Even if they didn’t understand what I was doing they struggled with ‘Well it must be important to you’,” she said. “Now they’re gone. I have lots of people in my life that love me but people who love you like that – you don’t have to be a certain way – they just love you, hard core, no matter what.
“It brings them closer into my circle doing this with them in my mind.”
Dickson said with diabetes in the family she has a stake in her own health and in her children’s health.
“I would love for a cure to be found,” she said. It’s amazing how many people have come up and told me, ‘We have diabetes in our family; I appreciated what you’re doing.’
“My sister’s gone and she’s still making a difference in people’s lives.”