Edward Dalton planned to meet his daughter at the end of her marathon in Dublin.
The 76 year old was the inspiration for Karen Taylor to join Team Diabetes as a marathon runner and fundraiser.
“The last time that I saw my dad, we were at the computer and he was supposed to come with us to Ireland,” said Taylor. “I was showing him the route and it ended at the Temple pub, and he said, ‘That’s where I’ll be having a beer.’”
He didn’t make it.
Dalton died before the race from complications related to Type 2 diabetes.
“It’s been a long time, but it was hard to finish the race knowing that it was going to be my mom and my dad’s sister; knowing my dad wasn’t going to be there.”
Her father’s fate was one Taylor wanted to avoid.
A few years ago, Taylor was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and weighed 220 lbs.
“I’m a nurse, I should know better,” she said of her thoughts at that time. “I worked up north where diabetes is such a big problem and I felt like a such a fraud telling them they had to watch what they eat.”
A threat from her doctor to put her on medication to regulate her blood sugar gave Taylor the push she needed.
She’s since lost 80 pounds and participated in five full or half marathons in locations around the world as a member of Team Diabetes to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
By the time her next race in Reykjavik, Iceland, is over Taylor will have reached a fundraising total of $30,000 since 2006. She’s also inspired many friends and family members to join her.
Anyone can join the team as a runner or walker and so far 15 people in B.C. have registered to go to Reykjavik.
It involves fundraising an amount of money the Canadian Diabetes Association wishes not to publicize. Participation also comes with a free flight to the marathon location, four nights accommodation and race entry free, drawn from the donations raised.
Taylor admits it’s an aspect of the campaign she gets questioned about a lot.
“I can’t speak for anybody else, but I donate through my own money what the trip likely costs,” she said. “This is money the diabetes association would not have (if not for this program).”
Team Diabetes co-ordinator, Lindsay O’Donnell assures the majority of funds raised through this program go to support the national charity’s programs. Specific numbers, however aren’t available.
Contact teamdiabetes.ca to donate.