Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs issued the following statement following the team’s practice Monday at Air Canada Centre:
“This morning I shared with my teammates news that I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. It is highly-treatable, and I have begun taking a pill on a daily basis that has proven to be very effective in controlling this cancer. The prognosis, and certainly the expectations of my physician, myself and my family, is that I will live a long, full and normal life.
“This situation will not impact my ability to live my life as I otherwise would, and will not affect my ability to perform at my highest level for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m looking forward to my first season with the Leafs and helping our club compete for the Stanley Cup.”
Statement from Maple Leafs team doctor Noah Forman regarding Jason Blake’s medical condition:
“Jason Blake has very recently been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). This is a form of leukemia (blood cancer) which is a slow growing cancer of the white blood cells. It has an incidence of 500 new cases diagnosed each year in Canada.
“It is caused by an abnormal chromosome of cells in the body's bone marrow.
Jason is in no immediate danger, as he is in the chronic phase of the disease and has been assessed by a leading authority on CML at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
He has already started treatment which consists of an oral medication taken daily with low side effects.
“We have secured opinions from numerous CML specialists confirming that with this oral medication, most patients are well controlled and lead normal lives, doing all their normal activities. Jason will be able to continue to play fully with the team and will be monitored closely by both the team's physician and his CML specialist.”