John (Mitch) Wilson, a former professional hockey player and more recently a tugboat captain, was diagnosed on July 17, 2014, with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.
ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
There is no known cure.
Calgary, Alberta, is where Mitch was born. Most people though identify Mitch with Kelowna, BC where he played his Minor Hockey. He played with the hometown Kelowna Buckaroos of the BCHL, from where he graduated to the Seattle Breakers of the WHL. Mitch played hard for the Breakers, and against all odds he found a way to play professionally. He sports a Calder Cup ring and Turner Cup ring symbolic of winning championships in both the AHL and the IHL. He made his way to the NHL, playing for the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He even got a few shifts alongside Mario Lemieux.
After hockey Mitch took to the sea, showing the same determination, earning his way to becoming a tugboat captain.
At this point Mitch is exploring all avenues to further his life expectancy. He is not working any longer and bills will continue to mount. While at this point Mitch is ok financially, the future is unclear.
A GoFundMe account has been set up and can be viewed at http://www.gofundme.com/d7fprw.
Money raised will be used to afford Mitch with the care he may need as time goes on. A portion of the funds will be donated to ALS research.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Mitch can be reached at JohnMitchellWilson@gmail.com While he is getting up to speed on the internet highway his account will be monitored by his sister Karen and Jake Goertzen.
There is also a community Facebook page called Mitch Wilson battles ALS.
It has been a while since we did an update on what has transpired since our second trip to Mexico for treatment.
Mitch is feeling better than he was before the treatment started. Mitch described the feeling before as living with your worst imaginable hangover 24/7 and then occasionally dipping lower than that.
Now he feels OK, much improved from how it was.
Mitch is losing strength though and on our last trip he received anabolic steroid shots and HGM shots as well. He is continuing to take HGM 3 times a week in hopes that he muscle mass will improve.
There is more treatment scheduled down the road.
Mitch continues to battle and battle. The battle is tough mentally and Mitch appreciates all the support that has come his way. He is a private person, and may not get around to getting back to everyone because it is tiring for him. Mitch is mostly staying at home these days, it is difficult for him to get around without assistance.
Someone comes in to assist him a few times a week, his sister came to visit for a week. In another week a friend from Montana will be coming in to help out.
Housing and most of our upcoming flights have been supplied by donors and it is a great help and much appreciated.
Mitch is an amazing battler and he wants to help wage the battle against ALS. There are some things in the works to make the general public more aware of the disease and to raise money for research.
Please send Mitch messages via Facebook.