Top News

For Hilden girl, working a lemonade stand was a labour of love for her big brother

Alice Trask has raised more than $600 for D-Camp, a cause close to her heart. Alice’s brother was diagnosed with diabetes and benefited from attending a camp this year.
Alice Trask has raised more than $600 for D-Camp, a cause close to her heart. Alice’s brother was diagnosed with diabetes and benefited from attending a camp this year. - Contributed
HILDEN, N.S. —

Alice Trask’s first encounter with diabetes came in the middle of the night.

Her brother had dropped 30 lbs. in three months and was always thirsty, a tell-tale sign of diabetes. It landed him in hospital last September. Alice’s father broke the news to her.

“I woke up and asked, where’s Mason? Where’s Mom?” recalled Alice, from Hilden. “It makes me sad he has to go through all of it.”

But 10-year-old Alice soon found a way to help her big brother and other type-1 diabetes patients, by raising money for D-Camp.

Fortunately, the Trask family could afford to send Mason to D-Camp, which offers the regular summer camp experience for diabetic young people, but with a team of medical professionals always on call. The 12 camps around the country are run by Diabetes Canada.

However, Alice soon realized not all diabetic children’s families could afford the camp. To help out, she set to work selling lemonade at the Truro Farmers' Market and collecting donations online.

Through the Put-A-Squeeze-On-Diabetes campaign, Alice raised $647.60 to send diabetic children from less well-off families to the camp.

“I felt relieved he could go to the camp, as some families can’t afford it,” said  Alice.

Mason attended the camp in Nova Scotia’s Kejimkujik National Park in July. 

There, he enjoyed the usual summer camp activities including hiking, sitting around the campfire and sleeping in a tent. Children can also enjoy cooking, archery and photography.

Most importantly, the camps give diabetic children and youth a sense of community.

“They don’t feel different and they aren’t alone,” said Alice’s mother, Andrea. “We’ve seen pictures of them taking their insulin together.”

Mason must inject insulin four times a day. Andrea said he still enjoys his usual activities such as basketball and baseball, but everything must be planned out in advance.

“It must have been hard for him to change, he was much more carefree before,” said Alice.

Family members have no idea why Mason, who was in good health, suddenly developed type-1 diabetes. Andrea said it was not caused by diet or lifestyle and scientists still do not know the exact trigger.

The 2019 Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes will be in Truro on Sept. 28, starting at 9 a.m. in Victoria Park.

Recent Stories