Bryden is king of helping kids, with a medal to prove it
Nine-year-old Bryden Hutt of Yarmouth receives a Queen Elizabeth the Second Diamond Jubilee Medal from Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall on Monday. Bryden was one of several Maritimers to receive the honour.
Published Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:37PM EDT
Note from editor: Atlantic Bureau Chief Todd Battis blogs about our latest Canadian Original: remarkable nine-year-old Diamond Jubilee medal winner Bryden Hutt.
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HALIFAX -- Right away you notice Bryden Hutt is different from most grade three students. Few kids depend on crutches to walk. He is smaller than most nine year olds.
Spend even one minute with him and you realize something else separates him from others his age. He smiles constantly, loves to laugh and, despite having lived in hospitals, and enduring a bone marrow transplant, is excited about everything and everyone he meets.
There's also a small matter of a certain medal.
Bryden is one of, perhaps the youngest, Canadian to be awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to his country.
He joined heroes and luminaries honoured at Rideau Hall in February by Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"He said when I got my medal, he said, good job son," Hutt recalls of meeting Mr. Harper.
The country was suddenly aware of the boy who has long been something of a celebrity in his hometown of Yarmouth, N.S.
For years Hutt has been knocking on doors, selling chocolate bars, doing whatever he can to raise money in support of the Children's Wish Foundation.
He's raised nearly $40,000 for the charity, "helping a kid make their wish come true," he said. Enabling others dealing with life-threatening illnesses to have the same opportunity he did four years ago.
In 2008, Children's Wish sent him and his family to Disney World. There he hugged Mickey, saw Lightening McQueen, and best of all, met his bone marrow donor from Germany.
The experience sparked a passion in Hutt to spend his spare time and energy working for the cause.
"You know if a nine year old can do it, and he has been doing it for four or five years since he's had his wish, we certainly all can do it, and it's so appreciated," said Cheryl Matthews, with the Children's Wish Foundation's Nova Scotia chapter.
The trip to Ottawa and medal were unexpected.
For his mother Wendy, one moment of the ceremony stands out: "He got his medal, I was bawling. He got so excited when he was running back to me, the medal dropped off his shirt," she laughed.
The Queen's Jubilee Medal now sits next to Bryden Hutt's bed, a reminder of his efforts and inspiration to keep working to helps kids in need.