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Winnipeg Jets’ Dale Hawerchuk Undergoing Chemotherapy for Stomach Cancer

In some sad news out of the Winnipeg Jets’ organization, Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk is undergoing chemotherapy for stomach cancer. How’s he doing?

Here’s some sad news out of the Winnipeg Jets’ organization. Former star Jets’ player and Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk is undergoing chemotherapy for stomach cancer. He’s realistic about it, and calls his battle with the disease “the fight of my life.”

In early September, the 56-year-old Hawerchuk took a leave of absence as coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts in early September. At that time, the team announced that Hawerchuk was stepping away because of a health issue; however, there wasn’t more specific news about what the issue was. Now, we know.

Around Winnipeg, Hawerchuk is a well-known star. He carried the team for several seasons. In total, he had 518 goals and 1409 points in 1188 career NHL games. Among those seasons, he had six seasons that were more than 100+ points.

Hawerchuk was the 1st overall pick in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. After he was drafted, he signed a five-year, $800,000 contract with the Jets. Obviously, that was so much money in its day that an armored car escorted by police drove to the historic middle of Winnipeg – the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street (Winnipeg’s main intersection) – and dropped off the 18-year-old.

He became perhaps Winnipeg’s most recognizable sports person. It’s hard not to think of the Winnipeg Jets without first thinking Dale Hawerchuk.

His Illness

Recently, Hawerchuk opened up about his illness and the battle he’s having with it. He noted, “The chemo has hit me pretty hard. I do it one week and it breaks the body down and then the next week I take a break and build my body up so I can do it again. I have to do that for two months. I really struggle to eat and have a feeding tube, but the last few days I’ve been able to eat a little bit, too. You’ve got to keep your nutrition up.”

It’s tough sledding, and Hawerchuk’s wife Crystal thinks her husband has the mental toughness he needs to successfully fight the disease.

She noted about her husband, “He’s just so himself and low maintenance and doesn’t have a big ego. Dale has always been a very focused person, very determined. He’s got mental strength today just like he had in hockey.”

We wish the Hawerchuk family success in this battle.

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