Whenever Vancouver Canucks fan favourite Gino Odjick, otherwise known as the ‘Algonquin Enforcer,’ stepped onto the ice, he was often greeted with a big applause. Loud chants of ‘Gino’, ‘Gino’ ‘Gino’ would echo from the Pacific Coliseum stands.
Odjick, who was selected 86th overall by Vancouver in the 1990 Entry Draft, enjoyed a respectable 12-year career which included eight years with the Canucks before stints with the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens.
This 6-foot 3, 215- pound forward who was born on the Kitigan Zibi First Nation broke into the NHL and had his best moments in Vancouver where that signature chant would ring down from the Pacific Coliseum rafters.
In 2014, he was diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, a disorder causing abnormal proteins and antibodies, affecting the kidneys, heart, liver, intestines and nerves.
Doctors at the time gave him only months to live — however he overcame and the disease went into remission.
Now, he has announced the disease has returned.
“Honestly, I was hoping it would not come back for twenty years or more,” Odjick said. “But I did get six free years of the disease. Fortunately, in the eyes of the doctors, we caught the prognosis and symptoms at the early stages of the disease.”
Moving forward, doctors are optimistic that with treatment, Odjick who is 50 years-old can regain one hundred percent of his health and once again beat this disease.
Over the past month or so after getting treatment from the hospital, Odjick admitted that health wise, he has improved.
“I personally would like to thank everyone for their positive thoughts and well wishes,” he said. “Those positive thoughts and well wishes really helped me six years ago and it will do the same this time.”
Heading forward, Odjick has tremendous support from the National Hockey League, fans, family and friends who are firmly in the enforcer’s corner supplying moral support in this latest battle.