It was just over one year ago that Prince William and Catherine Middleton said, “I do” before 2 billion people. It’s believed to be the most-watched televised event in history and for most of us, the closest that we will ever get to attend a royal affair.
Shortly after their wedding, Wills and Kate set off on their first official tour, to Canada. Many Canadians anxiously awaited the arrival of the royal duo to their hometown and many more waited with bated breath for their daily newspaper to see what Kate was wearing.
Photos of Kate with her maple leaf hat and the handsome pair canoeing to the Prime Minister’s private cabin peppered the media but there was one image that stood out.
photo credit: www.globeandmail.com
Diamond Marshall is the little girl who captured the hearts of The Duke and Duchess and of a nation. Crouched on the tarmac after landing in Calgary, Alberta, while the wind whipped those famous brunette tresses, Kate embraced the 6 year-old stage-four cancer patient who in 2007 lost her mother to the very disease that she is fighting.
Months earlier, Diamond sent Catherine Middleton a letter describing her wish to meet a real princess and to have lunch with the princesses at Disneyland. She concluded her letter with a question: Who is your favourite princess?
People have been moved by Diamond’s strength and courage. People like Alex Halat, a long-time friend of Diamond’s father, Lyall, want to make a difference for children who are battling cancer and life threatening diseases.
Mr. Halat has a long involvement with Oilympics, a hockey tournament that raises money for local charities and in 2012 he started Hockey Marathon For The Kids in support of Alberta Children’s Hospital where Diamond has received many life saving medical procedures.
The Hockey Marathon For The Kids is an 11-day hockey game played by 40 volunteers who represent diverse backgrounds, skill levels and ages. What these men do have in common is that they have been affected by cancer. To honour their loved ones, their jerseys will not showcase their names but instead the names of the loved ones they’re honoring by participating in this event.
The organizers of Hockey Marathon For The Kids hope to raise 1.5 million dollars and one week away have secured $600,000 in donations. Ninety-five percent of the funds raised will go directly to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where children like Diamond receive life saving treatments.
This Christmas, Diamond and her family received the ultimate gift: a diagnosis of remission. It was in part due to the phenomenal care she received at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.