Calgary Flames assistant GM Chris Snow has been diagnosed with ALS, as was announced Wednesday in a letter from his wife, Kelsie Snow.
In the letter, Kelsie explains how the two went down to Miami to meet “one of the best ALS doctors and researchers out there” but were given the news that Chris was in the early stages of the disease.
“The next step, [the doctor] said, was to enroll Chris in a clinical trial for the most encouraging ALS gene therapy treatment to come along,” Kelsie wrote. “The drug targets a specific genetic mutation that has devastated Chris’ family. Just over one year ago Chris’ dad passed away from ALS. We have also lost both of Chris’ paternal uncles and his 28-year-old cousin to this disease.”
The two are leaning into that possibility, according to the letter, and said that Chris has been in the trial for several months without knowledge of if he is taking the drug or the placebo. The infected area is restricted to his right hand and forearm.
“Someone has to be the first person to live with ALS rather than die from it, and one thing I’ve always known about Chris is that he finds a way. No matter the obstacle, no matter how unprecedented the situation may be – he always, always finds a way,” Kelsie said.
Although recognizing the impact that the hockey community can have for supporting its members, Kelsie laid out the most desirable way to offer encouragement.
“Be positive and hopeful with us, pray for us in whatever way you pray, and don’t treat us — most especially Chris — differently than you always have. He is the same person today he was yesterday and he will be the same person tomorrow and in two months and beyond. Hug your family, wring all the joy from each moment of your life, play with your children, and be present – all things at which Chris has always been wonderful.
“Continue to love us and love our kids. Of all the devastation this diagnosis brought, the idea of telling the two of them they were going to lose their dad was the most crushing. But now we have hope and, we believe, a different story.”
For those looking to help in a more tangible way, Kelsie provided a link to donate to ALS research being done at the University of Miami.
Kelsie closed the letter with one last call to action.
“The next most powerful thing you can do for us is to believe in this treatment. Our hope is rooted in the results we believe we are seeing and in the optimism expressed by doctors who have spent their careers studying this disease. As our neurologist said after Chris received his first dose in the trial — ‘We’re here to make history.'”
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