As soon as you say the name GINO in this province, most people think of a large chap with a big gap toothed grin, who in an earlier part of his life, skated for the Canucks.
Gino Odjick has been fighting for his whole life.
A lot of us have seen some of those fights on the public stage, under the bright lights & through the cameras at a National Hockey League rink.
He was enforcer, and the chants of his name thundered through both rinks in this city.
Lately, we have discovered some of his other battles. Gino has had substance abuse demons and depression issues, which have become public away from the arena.
The 43-year-old released a letter thru the Canucks last night, saying he needed to share the most difficult news of his life.
He has a rare terminal disease called amyloidsis.
Odjick’s heart his hardening; because abnormal protein is being produced and deposits are being formed on his heart. It is considered terminal.
He is at VGH getting chemotherapy. At first, Doctors thought he would have years to live, but he says it might be months or less than that.
Through the Canucks website you can read the letter and leave a message or donate to the Gino Strong Foundation or the Aboriginal Youth Education fund.
Gino Odjick is one of the most popular players to ever put on a Canucks jersey and has been a leader and an inspiration in first nation’s communities across Canada.
He has asked for privacy so he can focus his time on his eight children and family.
There is only one GINO GINO GINO.