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Thursday, November 29, 2012

HARDING DIAGNOSED WITH MS

Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding of Regina has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a secret he kept for over a month.

"I didn't know anything about MS. I wish I did. Everybody hears about it, but nobody knows much about it unless you're affected by it," the 28-year-old told Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Multiple sclerosis is an incurable autoimmune disease. It causes the body to attack the protective lining of nerve cells, affecting how the brain and spinal cord communicate. It leaves the body open to almost any neurological symptom, including difficulty moving, difficulty with balance, problems with speech and vision problems.

Harding was diagnosed in October but kept it private save for his immediate family. Wednesday, he began telling friends and teammates. He also called Wild head coach Mike Yeo and general manager Chuck Fletcher.

"I wanted to be the one to tell them," Harding said. "And this will tell you what type of people these guys are. I didn't know what to expect, how they'd react, if they'd be like, 'What am I going to do? We're going to have to get another goalie.' But not once did either talk about hockey. They were worried about my health."

Harding has been put on an aggressive treatment of medication to battle the disease. The Regina, Sask., native intends to continue his career.

"Josh's competitive fire has led him to a successful career in the NHL and we know he will approach this new battle in the same manner," Fletcher said.

"I don't look at this like I've got to take a new path," said Harding. "This is a little bump in the road. I've had lots in life."

Harding was drafted 38th overall by the Wild in 2002. He signed a three-year, $5.7-million contract over the summer after putting up a respectable 13-12 record with a 2.62 goals-against average and .917 save percentage last season.

(Courtesy QMI Agency)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awful news to see when you see first woke up. Never have heard a bad thing from anybody about Josh. Prayers go out to him.

Anonymous said...

So Sad but from my experience MS has many forms and a mild exacerbation may allow him to continue playing hackey for many more years without complication. Hopefully he has only mild symptoms.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about Josh, but the will to succeed as a hockey player will bode well for him as he fights MS. He sounds like a fighter to me.