Flames assistant GM Chris Snow dies from ALS complications
Chris Snow died Saturday night, but he left a legacy that his family, the Calgary Flames and the city will never forget.
He was a fixture in the Flames' organization, a devoted father and husband and a driving force for ALS research.
After four years of fighting and defying the odds of a terminal illness, Snow died Saturday at the age of 42.
Chris was a baseball writer at the Boston Globe when the NHL's Minnesota Wild hired him as their director of hockey operations in 2006.
Chris Snow, an assistant general manager for the Calgary Flames, hugs his son Cohen as his wife Kelsie holds his their daughter Willa after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before the baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
In 2011, Snow joined the Flames as director of hockey analysis, then became the team's assistant general manager in 2019 – the same year he received a devastating diagnosis from his doctor.
"He said this is the early stage of ALS and you think your life is over – because it really is," Snow said.
Called a "no-hope disease", ALS is a rare neurological condition that affects motor neurons.
Snow was 37 when he was told he had between six and 12 months to live.
He enrolled in a gene-therapy clinical trial and for four more years, Snow defied the medical odds.
Snow was determined to live a full life despite the terminal diagnosis, making him an inspiration to many while also shining a bright light on ALS research.
The Snow family have used their platform to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for the disease, including "Trick Shot for Snowy" and "SnowyStrong."
Over the years, the disease inevitably became more aggressive, but it couldn't deter Snow from going to work at the job he loved with the Flames.
On September 27, Snow's wife Kelsie posted that he went into cardiac arrest, triggering a catastrophic brain injury.
In the days following his hospitalization, members of the Calgary Flames reflected on Snow's strength throughout his difficult journey.
Chris Snow and his family raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for ALS research
"Not once did you ever see him feel sorry for himself for what he was going through," said head coach Ryan Huska.
"I think when you talk about people looking at him as an inspiration, I don't know how you can't."
"He breathed Calgary Flames," said Flames defenceman Rasmus Andersson "He loved every second of it and as I said, he was a hell of a person, great family man and hell of a father."
A tribute to Snow was made on the ice ahead of the Flames' pre-season game against the Oilers earlier this week.
Chris Snow was 42-years-old.
He is survived by his wife Kelsie and his two children Cohen and Willa.
The Snow family: Kelsie, Willa, Cohen and Chris
Even though the battle is over, Snow continued to give back, remaining on life support until organ donations could be arranged.
Kelsie posted online Saturday night that Snow's kidneys, liver and lungs will be giving four people the gift of life.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Snow family.
An estimated 3,000 Canadians live with ALS and approximately 1,000 die from the disease each year, according to ALS Canada.
With files from The Canadian Press
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