Fight of His Life

Jason BlakeMost of the time, when we think of professional athletes, we think that these men and women are invincible; that they are heroes.

This feeling gets put on the backburner when stories like one out of Toronto on Monday. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake announced to his team and to the media that he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Watching the clips from the press conference, where Blake struggled to hold back tears, it was tough not to be caught up in the emotion.

Situations like this, and when Saku Koivu was diagnosed with cancer, teach us all in the world of sports and around the world that hockey is simply a game, and that no matter how powerful these athletes are, life is more powerful and can throw everyone and anyone a life-altering curve ball.

What Blake and his family are going through is a very tough experience. There is optimism that this disease is highly treatable and those in the game and those who know him best all hope that he will pull through this.

But this situation, as tough as it is for Blake, can act as motivation for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blake is more than just a teammate and more than just a hockey player, he is a member of a special bond, a family that is the Toronto Maple Leafs and they should rally around him. After all, why not try and win the Stanley Cup, not just for yourselves and the fans of Toronto, but for a man that may never have another chance to compete for a Stanley Cup again.

Whether or not you hate the Leafs, you cannot help but wish all the best for Jason Blake. He may be a member of the hated Maple Leafs, but he is a son, a father and a husband. It is these things that mean more than hockey ever can and for that, we all wish Jason Blake the best in his most important fight.

If he needs any words of inspiration, he can turn to Saku Koivu’s courageous return to the NHL after a battle with cancer.

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