Monday, September 28, 2015

Canada's Moment of Triumph!

Believe I should rename this series of NHL hockey players...Hockey Month in Canada...with the documented articles about Pat Quinn, Jean Beliveau and today's of Paul Henderson.

1972: Henderson has Scored for Canada!

People took the day off work on September 28, 1972 to watch Canada play the Soviet Union. In the game's last seconds, their hero, Paul Henderson scored an epoch-making goal. But the hockey series was more than just that final game. The fast and skilled Soviets surprisingly shocked Team Canada in 8 gruelling games that changed Canadian hockey forever. It became faster and better!

It's a tie-game, 5-5 at 12:56 in the third period. With 34 seconds remaining, Canada crowds the Soviet net and Paul Henderson skates in. Foster Hewitt roars HENDERSON HAS SCORED FOR CANADA!
Team Canada captures the Summit Series.
On this day, according to one fan...“God is Canadian!”

Played during the Cold War, the Series was viewed as a battle for both hockey and cultural supremacy.
Henderson scored the game-winning-goal in the 6th, 7th and 8th games ~ the last of which has become legendary in Canada...and made him a National Hero!

Henderson played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta Flames...scoring 376 goals and 758 points.

Nobody Gets a Wrinkle-Free Life!

Written by Lori Ewing, from Mississauga and published in the Canadian Press,
Paul Henderson 'faces off' about his personal health.

Paul Henderson has a basement full of hockey memorabilia, but his prized possession is a framed photograph of his grandsons, Alton (age 10 at the time) and Logan was 6. The two boys are on the ice in their hockey equipment and matching blue jerseys, standing side by side with their backs to the camera. Alton is wearing No. 19. Logan, No. 72. “Alton wears 19 because that was my number...and I thought Logan would want 19 as well. But he chose 72, all on his own...1972,” Henderson said, smiling at his grandsons' cleverness. The 71-year-old cherishes the days spent with his grandchildren. For a while, it seemed there wouldn't be many more.

Diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in November 2009, the Canadian hockey hero's health was in a free-fall two years ago when he entered a clinical drug trial in the U.S. He called it a 'game-changer'. “When you go into a clinical trial, you're flipping the coin: is this going to work? Or is it going to kill us?” said Henderson, himself a legendary game-changer. Henderson's came in the form of CLL, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He said 'no' to chemotherapy after his diagnosis, instead trying to battle it through diet and exercise.

I know my body. My body has never done well with drugs. The only option I had was chemotherapy, and I thought that would probably kill me anyway. And your quality of life goes, attacking everything else. So I spent all kinds of money on supplements and vitamins and doing this, doing that, working out with trainers. We were hoping to beat it from the inside out. We spent two years desperately trying to find an alternative. But it just kept going.”

By the time Henderson travelled, with fingers crossed, to Bethesda, Maryland to begin the clinical drug trial, he was in rough shape. He was down 25 pounds from the 180 he's rigorously maintained since his 20's. “And my cheeks were out to here,” he said, pulling the skin on his cheeks out wide. “I had a growth the size of grapefruit in my stomach...and 83% of my bone marrow was malignant.” Henderson is one of four Canadians in the U.S. clinical trial of Ibrutinib, approved this week for use in Canada.

Sitting in his Mississauga,Ontario home Wednesday morning, Henderson talked about what's been like a new lease on life. He has regained the weight, and during an almost-hour-long interview, helped move furniture for a photo shoot.

His wife, Eleanor, commented (about 6 months into the program), “That damn stuff you're on, there's got to be Botox in it. You look better now than you have in years.” She laughs, “I'm going on it!”

I'm an encourager; I don't say very much,”
on his hockey grandparenting style. I just say,
You go out there and you just give it your best shot every shift you're out there
and you'll feel good about yourself when the game is over.
You don't have to win every game! You've got to go, have fun
and the best way to have fun is to give it your best shot every time!”

Most mornings, Henderson, who became a Christian in 1975, wakes up 90 minutes earlier than his wife, Eleanor. He spends that time reading the Bible. He's memorized thousands of passages. Nights are spent with his wife of 52 years watching TV. “The Voice” and “Dancing With the Stars” are two of their favourites. They work out together up to 5 days a week in their basement gym. “I do a lot of stretching now. Do a lot of core work, a lot of crunching, that kind of stuff. It's good for my golf game. Always have and always will. Never been out of shape. I've never been over 185 pounds in my life. When I get to 185, I fast. My dad died very young and he didn't take care of himself ...and so my genes are not that good. Both Eleanor and I are within a couple pounds of when we married 52 years ago.
Paul Henderson ~ truly a Canadian Icon
who will always be remembered.
His team performance broke Russia's long reigning supremacy in the game of hockey!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written December 8, 2014
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  1. FROM MEG: "I remember the game in '72. You didn't say, 'Is his cancer in remission or is it gone?' Sounds like we're going to have a couple new hockey players coming up soon...and with Henderson's coaching!
    Interesting blog."

  2. Thanks, Meg for your continuing interest. From what I read, seems he is in 'remission'...however, with his strong faith, am convinced he believes it is gone...he did much to help himself.
    I could name a few sport families where sons/daughters have discovered their abilities to achieve in their personal sport of interest. It is apparent they have 'good genes'!