Valley boy chosen as juvenile diabetes walk ambassador

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VALLEY - Hayden Malay is back to being an 11-year-old boy.

Eleven-year-old Hayden Malay, of Valley, has been chosen as the ambassador for the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Malay was diagnosed in January and will participate in his first walk on Sunday. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News

Hayden, a Grade 6 student at Redcliff Middle School in Valley, has returned to playing outside with his friend and neighbour, playing sports, and to just being himself.

Eight months ago, he was tired all the time.

“All I did was lay in bed and drink juice or water,” said Hayden who has been chosen as the ambassador for this Sunday’s Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). “I was really bummed out.”

That’s when Hayden’s mom, Holly, took her son to the hospital for blood tests and it was then that the boy was diagnosed.

The family spent three days at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre where Hayden had blood taken, and met with a new pediatrician, diabetic nurse, and dietician.

“They were all really nice, which helped,” said Hayden, saying his life changed on Jan. 9.

While taking a reading of Hayden’s blood sugars, they were too high to read so Hayden was given an immediate dose of insulin.

“He was a different kid,” said Holly. “It was truly amazing – we couldn’t believe it.”

Ever since then, Hayden has to watch how much he eats and take insulin four times a day. Not to mention all the finger-poking to read his blood sugar levels.

“I’m feeling a lot better now,” he said, smiling.

At the time, Hayden was playing basketball, but he had to take a short time off after the diagnosis.

“But then I was a bottle rocket on the field.”

Hayden now hopes to raise awareness and funds about juvenile diabetes through the annual community walk this Sunday. The Walk to Cure Diabetes begins with registration at the band shell in Victoria Park at 9 a.m. The walk will get underway following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 with Hayden.

“The ambassador cuts the ribbon to put a face on the event and the disease,” said Erin Cock, chairwoman of the local walk, who started organizing the event seven years ago when her daughter, Jessa, was diagnosed a week before her first birthday.

As ambassador, Hayden also had to write a short story for an information pamphlet, complete with a picture of himself.

“We chose him as the ambassador because he’s new to the adjustments…this is all new to him and we want things to be more comfortable to him and let him know he’s not alone,” she said.

Since Cock started organizing the event, $100,000 has been raised for the foundation. Usually drawing a crowd of 100 to 150, the walk last year raised $13,000 and has a goal this year to raise $14,500.

This year’s event will feature a barbecue following the walk, and possibly some live entertainment.

People can register online at and finding the Truro walk. Pledge sheets can also be downloaded from the site.

For more information, contact Erin Cock at 895-8916 or email her at

Twitter: @TDNRaissa



WHAT: Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes

IN SUPPORT OF: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

WHEN: Sept. 22

TIME: Registration at 9 a.m., walk at 10

WHERE: Victoria Park band shell in Truro

LENGTH: 3.5 kilometres



Age: 11

Lives: Valley

Family: Father, Chris; mother, Holly; sisters Kirsty (15) and Bailey (17)

Pets: Dog Mocha, and his sister has a cat and lizard

Hobbies: video games, especially Minecraft on the Xbox, basketball, baseball, soccer and playing outside with his neighbor

Favourite subject at school: social studies and gym

Organizations: Research Foundation, Redcliff Middle School, Colchester East Hants Health Centre Telus Xbox

Geographic location: Victoria Park

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Recent comments

  • Ann & Don Morrow
    September 20, 2013 - 11:25

    Congratulations to you Hayden and of course to all your family!