Calgary Flames Legend Chris Snow Defies ALS, Leaves Enduring Legacy at 42

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The news of Chris Snow’s passing on Saturday evening reverberated through the hearts of many – his loved ones, the institution that deeply admired and respected him, the Calgary Flames, and the city that loved him. He wasn’t just a man but an institution, leaving behind an enduring legacy that will forever be reminisced with great honor and reverence.

A beloved father and husband, Snow was a resilient pillar within the Flames’ organization and a potent torchbearer for ALS research. After an intense four-year battle against the inescapable clutches of a terminal illness, Snow embraced his last breath at the age of 42.

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His career unfurled as a baseball writer at the Boston Globe, a path that led to Snow becoming the acclaimed director of hockey operations for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. This was back in 2006.

In 2011, he became an integral part of the Flames as the director of hockey analysis, later ascending to the position of the team’s assistant general manager in 2019, the year of his shattering diagnosis.

Snow’s voice reverberated with the reality of his diagnosis, “He said this is the early stage of ALS, and you think your life is over – because it really is.” ALS, a rarity among neurological conditions, is a ‘no-hope disease’, targeting motor neurons ruthlessly.

At the age of 37, Snow’s life was bestowed with a chilling countdown – six to 12 months. However, his determination wasn’t one to succumb; he registered for a gene-therapy clinical trial and, for an additional four years, utterly defied medical expectations.

Despite the impending doom, Snow’s will to survive and live fully was something of an inspirational beacon to many, casting an ever-burning light upon ALS research. The Snow family harnessed their influence to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid the search for a cure for the disease. They stood strong, launching initiatives like “Trick Shot for Snowy” and “SnowyStrong.”

As the disease gradually claimed more of him, it couldn’t diminish Snow’s tenacity to carry on working for the Flames. In late September, Kelsie Snow revealed that he had suffered a cardiac arrest, resulting in catastrophic brain damage.

His passing elicited grief-stricken reminiscences from the Calgary Flames, who held high regard for Snow’s courage throughout his ordeal. Ryan Huska, the head coach, honored his bravery—never feeling sorry for himself despite his condition. Defenceman Rasmus Andersson echoed similar sentiment speaking highly of Snow’s love for the Flames and his exceptional stature as a family man and father.

A tribute graced the ice for Snow before the Flames’ pre-season game against the Oilers not so long ago.

Today, at 42 years old, Snow lives on, survived by his wife, Kelsie, and their children, Cohen, and Willa. His ongoing legacy continues, even through the end of his battle, as he remained on life-support to arrange organ donations.

In a heartstring-tugging online post, Kelsie announced that Snow’s organs – kidneys, liver, lungs – will be granting four individuals a second chance at life. For the ongoing support of the Snow family, respective well-wishers established a GoFundMe page.

His passing underscores the truth that an estimated 3,000 Canadians live with ALS, and approximately 1,000 succumb to this ruthless disease yearly.