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Tim believes telling stories of his son is the best way for his legacy to be preserved for generations.

Passion, Love and Faith

When Tim Hickie’s son, Dustin, was battling cancer, he asked his parents about getting a tattoo. Dustin was only 15 when he was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT). His desire for a tattoo wasn’t a whim, or a spark of teenage rebellion, recalls Tim. “He asked for three words: Passion, Love and Faith. Passion, for music; Love, for his friends and family; and Faith, for his belief in God.”

You don’t have to be 65 years old to teach someone, says Tim. “He was wise, what you might call an old soul.” There isn’t a day that I don’t think of him… of those three words.

“It’s a recipe for success.” You have to have passion for what you’re doing, love for it, and the faith that it will work out, says Tim.

Dustin was only able to get a start on his tattoo, before he fell too ill to undergo any further inking sessions. The day before Dustin died, Tim asked his son if he could complete what he had started. Having Dustin’s tattoo on his back is one way he honours his memory. “Those three words keep his memory alive. Dustin has been gone 10 years. I still tell stories about Dustin and I always will.”

Tim has generously shared his story with Passages.Life, and the family has also taken part in promoting the work of Children’s Wish Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

They do so with Dustin’s helping nature in mind. His thoughts were never for himself, but always for his friends and family, says Tim. He was an entertainer, with a great sense of humour and a gift for music. During his illness, the Children’s Wish Foundation fulfilled Dustin’s wish for music studio where he and his friends could come together to improvise and play the music they loved.

Tim knows Dustin would have wanted the music to keep playing. “He would want us to live on. Whenever I’m under stress, I think of Dustin fighting cancer and how he was able to deal with it in such a positive way. I can deal with anything when I think of that. I know he would want us to remember him, and not to give up. We have to keep on living.”

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