Nearly three years after he was given weeks to live, Gino Odjick is still with us and doing well.
It was spring 2014 when the then-43-year-old longtime NHL tough guy was diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, which is caused when “bone marrow produces abnormal antibodies that can’t be broken down,” according to the Mayo Clinic. He revealed the news on the Vancouver Canucks website through a heartfelt letter to fans, who he played in front of for parts of eight seasons.
The initial prognosis was that the terminal disease gave him years to live. By the time he posted the letter it was down to weeks.
“This isn’t goodbye, but I wanted you to know what is happening. I’m going to stay strong and I hope to spend as much time with my kids as possible,” he wrote.
Speaking to CBC’s Early Edition on Thursday, Odjick revealed that an experimental treatment by doctors in Ottawa saved his life.
“Everything is in remission. Everything is good,” he said via the CBC. “Now, I’ve just got to keep hoping it doesn’t come back for the next 20 years.”
Odjick said earlier this month that his heart is working at 60 percent of its capacity and that he no long has swelling in his legs. He’s also regained the weight he lost during his fight. It’s all added up to a second lease on life.
“I am still here,” Odjick told Global News. “And I don’t take things for granted anymore.”
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