Gord Paynter’s inspiring example of perseverance and good humour in the face of adversity will reach a national audience.
The late comedian was named the 2012 recipient of the Kurt Kroesen National Inspiration Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association.
“He definitely had the touch for making people feel better. He didn’t let that blindness and how the diabetes affected him stop him in life. He just reached for all those goals,” said Lorraine Hagan, Brantford branch co-ordinator of the CDA, who nominated Paynter for the award in June.
“Any time that you spent with him you came away feeling better, because he could make any situation humorous. He was just a delight to be around for that reason, because there was never a dull moment,” Hagan said.
Paynter had a particular knack for connecting with young people he met at schools and Camp Huronda, a summer camp for youth with diabetes.
“He would certainly tell (the youth) that they weren’t to let any of life’s obstacles, ups and downs (and) disappointments stop them from reaching their goals,” Hagan said. “He was always encouraging people to strive to be their best despite setbacks.”
The beloved comedian died on April 16 at age 57.
Paynter’s widow, Catherine Camp-Paynter, will accept the national inspiration award at the CDA annual conference in Vancouver this October.
Hagan hopes conference attendees and others with diabetes will draw encouragement from Paynter’s story, including his continued presence on the golf course.
“He just stayed in the game,” Hagan said of Paynter’s unwavering commitment to golf – and to life.