The Chicago Tribune reported today that Bryan Bickell former left winger for the Chicago Blackhawks and currently playing with the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. More than 2.3 million people have been affected by multiple sclerosis worldwide, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
In a statement on the Hurricane’s website, Bickell discussed the diagnosis and his pursuit to return to the ice.
“Since the 2015 playoffs, I’ve been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn’t right,” said Bickell. “Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love.”
Thanks 2 all the fans for the prayers & wishes. It’s all new 2 me & my family but seeing all the support from u guys makes it easier for us
— Bryan Bickell (@bbicks29) November 11, 2016
Playing out of Ontatio, Bickell was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2004 in the second round and has scored 66 goals and 70 assists in his NHL career. Bickell was part of the Hawk’s 2010, 2013, and 2015 Stanley Cup wining teams before being moved to Carolina earlier this year.
Off the ice, Bickell and his wife Amanda have been helping with “pitbull” dog awareness and using these same dogs to help assist formerly abused children through their Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation. The charity group is set to release a 2017 calendar featuring Bickell and some of his famous hockey pals posing with adorable dogs. And yes, you will be able to see Marian Hossa pet a puppy. For more on that, go here.
A few summers ago, I was fortunate enough to briefly meet Bryan while at a street festival. He signed the 101WKQX van and was a joy to be around. Our hearts are with Bryan and his family during this tough time.