By Tina Comeau
Bryden Hutt said he was so excited he thought his heart might explode.
And his parents were so proud that theirs might do the same.
Bryden, a youngster from Yarmouth, was one of 60 Canadians on Monday, Feb. 6, to receive a Diamond Jubilee Medal in Ottawa.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston presented the medals at Rideau Hall. The medals are being presented to Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and country.
In Bryden’s case, his medal was in recognition of the nine-year-old's dedication to, and his efforts in support of, the Children’s Wish Foundation. Over the past few years Bryden has raised around $35,000 for the organization.
Bryden was born with Ommen’s Syndrome which, when he was a baby, left him without a functioning immune system. When he was five months old he underwent a bone marrow transplant. It wasn’t until a couple of years afterwards that the family learned the identity of Bryden’s donor – a young man from Germany named Felix Kruse.
The family exchanged phone calls, letters and photographs with Kruse but a meeting, given the distance that separated them, seemed like just wishful thinking.
In 2008, however, Bryden was granted a wish from the Children’s Wish Foundation, which came in the form of a trip to Disneyworld in Florida. When asked who he wanted to take with him, aside from his parents Wendy and Jason he asked to have Kruse join them on their vacation so he could finally meet the person who had saved his life when he was a baby.
The year after receiving his wish, Bryden was hoping to see more wishes granted, but this time not for himself.
Rather, Bryden set a goal to raise thousands of dollars through his participation in the Children’s Wish Foundation Wishmaker Walk for Wishes, to help grant the wishes of children facing life-threatening illnesses.
By raising around $35,000, he has more than exceeded his goal.
Bryden has raised the majority of the funds through fundraising for the Wishmaker Walk. He was also honored with a Me to We Award from Canadian Living magazine and received a cheque for $5,000 to go to the charity of his choice. He chose the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Bryden has also sold chocolate bars to raise funds. During his trip to Ottawa he was invited into the Governor General’s office by Johnston’s wife who, along with Bryden, decided he should write a new law to pass. Bryden’s law was that all children should eat chocolate three times a day.
“We are just proud parents of a little boy that’s been through too much in his short life, but we are glad that he knows and understands the importance of a wish and what it means to a child with terminal or life threatening illness,” says Bryden’s mother Wendy.
Bryden, a student at Meadowfields Community School, was the youngest recipient of the 60 Diamond Jubilee Medals that were awarded at the Feb. 6 ceremony at Rideau Hall.
The medal is part of Canada’s celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years spent on the throne.
“Over the past 60 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has served our country with distinction and dedication and continues to show Canada her generosity and affection,” said Prime Minister Harper. “These medals honour those Canadians who follow the fine tradition of service so exemplified by Her Majesty.”
A total of 60,000 medals will be given to Canadians throughout the year.
The inaugural set of 60 medals was presented on the first day of Diamond Jubilee Week (Feb. 6-12), which launched the Diamond Jubilee Year in Canada. This date commemorates the Queen’s accession to the throne on Feb. 6, 1952.
You can read a list of the first 60 recipients by clicking here.
You can read other stories written about Bryden by the Yarmouth Vanguard: