Flames exec Snow grateful to share story of battle against ALS at NHL Awards

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affected his face, speech and right arm, but here he was with his wife, Kelsie, and their children, Cohen, 10, and Willa, 7, to present the Norris Trophy and raise awareness on progressive neuromuscular disease. illness.

Snow slapped his left arm across his chest in gratitude.

“ALS is an isolating disease,” Kelsie told the audience. “Thank you for always reminding us that we are not alone.”

“Now we give the trophy to the best defender,” said Chris. “I know these guys are vitally important. Building the roster, they are the foundation of the team.”

“Here are the nominees for the James Norris Memorial Trophy,” Kelsie said.

Video: Chris Snow and his family speak at the NHL awards

After a video montage of josi roman of the nashville predators, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Cala Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, they opened a box containing the winner’s name.

“And the Norris Trophy goes to…” Chris said.

“Cale Makar!” Cohen said.

Each presenter was a special Tuesday.

There was Thomas Hodges, who overcame blindness in one eye to play in an Anaheim Ducks game this season as an emergency backup goalie.

There was Jake Thibeault, a player from Milton Academy (Massachusetts) who was paralyzed by injury in September 2021.

There was Nadia Popovici, a Seattle Kraken fan who saw a cancerous mole on the neck of Vancouver Canucks assistant team manager Red Hamilton behind glass.

And then there were the Snows, who represented more than themselves.

“It’s a great honor,” said Chris. “Tonight is about the players and their achievements, and not only allowing us to participate but also sharing our story is an amazing way to honor people with the disease, not just us. Hey, this disease deserves more attention.” and we are very grateful to the League for doing so”.

Chris and Kelsie have been open and honest about their experience with ALS through social media, and Kelsie has shared her story and the stories of others through her. blog and podcast “Sorry, I’m sad”. They have created awareness and money. through efforts like #weaksidestrongwhich challenges people to do something they love but with the opposite hand or foot.

“This is a disease that occurs in the dark, right?” Kelsie said. “It’s such an overwhelming disease to live with that most of the time people can’t advocate and can’t be a face as they go through it. You go home and try to get through every day.” , and you’re gutting it every day.

“So for us to have a chance for him to be as healthy as he’s been for as long as he’s been, it really allows us to put a public face on him. And that’s the goal, right? It’s not like, ‘Oh, we’re inspiring. That’s not what we’re here for.

“We’re here just to say, ‘Hey, look at us. There are a lot of other people like us, and we want you to look at this disease and understand that it’s happening to young families. It’s not just happening to grandparents. It’s happening to them. passing on to young dads, to young moms.

Chris received his diagnosis in June 2019, shortly after losing his father, two uncles and a cousin to ALS. At 37, he was told to do what brings him joy. But what gives him joy is living, which is why he sought an experimental therapy to curb the disease. The 40-year-old has continued to work for the Flames, and his family has savored every moment together, big and small.

Take for example Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round between the Flames and the Dallas Stars at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary won 3-2 in overtime.

“That was quite an emotional experience, just because you don’t know, right?” Kelsie said. “You never know when you walk in, like, ‘Well, is this going to be my last chance?’ And those things are always big. They’re much more in the front of our minds than for other people, the notion that we need to hold on to that moment and remember it.”

The Snows touched down in Tampa on Monday and went straight to see the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Rays general manager Peter Bendix asked about Cohen’s favorite player and then told the Snows to go to the dugout after the game for a surprise. Outfielder Brett Phillips greeted them with gifts: a signed Phillips jersey for Cohen, plus signed hats and baseballs for each boy.

The kids wore them to the NHL Awards rehearsal on Tuesday morning and then dressed for the show on Tuesday night.

Cohen said what he wanted most was to meet the center of the Toronto Maple Leafs auston matthews, who made a #weaksidestrong challenge on Twitter, hitting tennis balls with his left hand. Matthews was emotional during the standing ovation for the Snows before winning the Hart Trophy, voted most valuable player by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the Ted Lindsay Award, voted most outstanding player by the Hockey Association. NHL players.

Tweet from @AM34: This is my take on the #WeakSideStrong challenge. Similar to a young Rafa�I challenge @ClaytonKeller37! You’re awake 👊 pic.twitter.com/amxmui5k50

The Snows will attend Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Avalanche and Lightning at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS) before returning to Calgary, where Chris will continue his seasonal work go down for the Llamas.

“As I walked out of the ballpark yesterday, Cohen said, ‘I’ll always remember this,'” Kelsie said. “I said, ‘I wonder how many more times he’s going to say that this week?'”

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