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Second Annual event supports Liver Foundation

West Hants MLA Chuck Porter, Windsor mayor Paul Beazley, Canadian Liver Foundation regional director Shayla Steeves and Diana Dill gear up Saturday before the Memory Walk for Howard Dill. (GLEN PARKER)


WINDSOR — Canadian Liver Foundation representatives, along with friends and family of the late Howard Dill, came together Saturday for the second annual Windsor walk in honour of the pumpkin king.

Dill was a four-time world champion grower and creator of the famous Dill’s Atlantic Giant seeds that have produced world-record pumpkins weighing more than 1,000 pounds. The College Road farmer died from liver cancer on May 20, 2008, and a carved wooden statue of Dill resides in downtown Windsor to recognize his legacy.

“The timing of this walk is very special, as it is taking place on Thanksgiving weekend featuring the popular annual pumpkin regatta,” said foundation regional director Shayla Steeves.

“As we celebrate the life of Howard Dill, we are reminded of how many people are affected by liver disease. It’s becoming a chronic disease.”

In fact, there are over 100 diseases of the liver and 500 functions that this vital organ serves. That is why the foundation encourages everyone to have a liver function test.

Saturday’s walk took participants across the fields of the Dill farm, dotted with orange pumpkins and other fall produce, arriving at Long Pond, where people joined hands for a short memorial service and a moment of silence.

All proceeds support liver disease research and education. One in 10 Canadians suffer from some form of liver disease. It affects children, women and men with equal and sometimes fatal consequences.

Pledges can be made online in Dill’s memory. The website will be included on all seed packages that go all over the world.

Established in 1969, the foundation was the first organization worldwide to provide support for research and education into the causes, diagnoses, prevention and treatment of liver diseases. It provides vital funding to Canadian researchers to ensure the search for treatments and cures continues. The foundation also serves patients, families, health-care professionals and the public through its volunteer chapters across the country.

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