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Ex-Canuck Odjick says he's battling terminal illness

Friday, 06.27.2014 / 9:26 AM / News

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Ex-Canuck Odjick says he's battling terminal illness
Former NHL forward Gino Odjick revealed he is battling a terminal disease through a letter posted on the Vancouver Canucks website late Thursday night.

Former NHL forward Gino Odjick revealed he is battling a terminal disease through a letter posted on the Vancouver Canucks website late Thursday night.

"We have shared many great moments together over the years, but today I need to share news about the biggest fight of my life," the letter begins.

"About two months ago I was diagnosed with a rare terminal disease called AL amyloidosis. It's causing abnormal protein to be produced and deposits are being formed on my heart. It's hardening my heart and my doctors aren’t sure how long I have to live. Initially they thought years, but now they think it could be a lot less. I could be down to months or even weeks."

Odjick, 43, said he checked into a hospital due to shortness of breath shortly after Vancouver honored former coach Pat Quinn in a Ring of Honor ceremony on April 13, and has been hospitalized since.

Odjick was a fan favorite during his eight seasons with the Canucks and also played for the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens. He is of Aboriginal descent and said it meant the world to him being able to open doors for others in his community.

"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 said.

To read Odjick's full letter, click here.

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