Today, we have a sports-themed posting for you, as we check on a retired hockey player, a minor hockey coach and a retired CFL/NFL player. . . .
Lyle Odelein played three seasons (1985-88) with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. At the time, I was at the Regina Leader-Post, so I often was able to watch him play. He wasn’t an enforcer; he just didn’t believe in taking prisoners when he played. In fact, there may not have been a tougher player in the WHL at the time. . . . He went on to play 1,056 regular-season games in the NHL, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . He retired in 2006. . . . Almost two years ago, Odelein contracted a blood infection. In the end, he needed a triple transplant — aortic valve, heart and kidney — to keep him alive. . . . Today, Odelein, 51, says, “Everything is going super well.” . . . Matt Cudzinowski of canadiens.com has more right here.
Stephen Gillis, a minor hockey coach from Vancouver, has a date for surgery. If all goes according to plan, he will get a kidney from friend Michael Teigan on Feb. 18. . . . You may recall that it was Gillis’s peewee team that mounted a campaign — ‘Help us help our coach’ — in January in the hopes of finding a live kidney donor for him. . . . “I am so grateful for Michael, he is truly a hero,” Gillis said. “I hope he is an example to everyone that one selfless act can change the world or save a life for another. I ask you all to consider being organ donors as well. I am one of the lucky ones. There are many who are still waiting for their Michael.” . . . There is more on this story right here.
Ben Williams is a big, burly man who once played defensive end for the CFL’s Shreveport Pirates (remember them?), the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the U of Minnesota Gophers. He also is proof that kidney disease isn’t at all selective. In his playing days, he was 6-foot-2 and in the neighbourhood of 290 pounds. But size doesn’t matter to this disease. . . . He was on the list for a transplant for six years and admits that he was starting to lose hope. But the wait ended late in November when he had a kidney transplant at the M Health Fairview U of Minnesota Medical Center. . . . What is really interesting about this story is that Williams is from Belzoni, Miss., which is located two hours from the nearest dialysis unit. He has a foundation that provides support for people with CKD and, through that foundation he bought eight mobile units for his hometown. . . . Adrienne Broaddus of KARE-TV has the story right here.