Dignity After Hockey was created to assist former professional hockey players who have fallen on hard times. It has been a long-standing tradition in hockey to protect a teammate when he needs help. Unfortunately, many retired players, long since departed from the game, still require help with financial and medical problems.

Kurt Walker is the founder of Dignity After Hockey. Kurt played in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs and is determined to unite the hockey and business communities in an effort to aid those in need.


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Kurt Walker A STORY OF COURAGE AND BRAVERY:
I guess it was a little over a year ago that I was contacted by in an inadvertent way. She had sent an email to an organization that at the time I was considering volunteering my time to help out because it dealt with helping hockey players having a difficult time in life. Many former players had no healthcare as there was nothing for us to buy into when the final buzzer sounded. Thanks to Ben Galliway of The Society For Professional Athletes we finally have health care if they guys need it. Just go to www.thesfpa.com. Getting back to the email what I did not realize was that the email had sat in the inbox of the person trying to head up the organization for about 2 months as it represented no income to him, so he had never replied to her.

Once I got hold of the email I responded right back and asked how could I help, she was grateful someone had finally returned her email. We chatted for a while, and quite honestly it was then I decided to make Dignity after Hockey a 501c3 organization and run with it, which I did thanks to the help of Lori McKenzie. This woman who sent the email told me about a player who she had come to know in his years while playing in Maine with the Mariners in the AHL, his name was Mitch Wilson and in June of 2014 or 15 he had been told he had ALS Lou Gherigs disease, which most all of you know can be a death sentence according to him and his Dr.s.

She mentioned she wanted to raise money for him to assist him getting to Mexico for his 4th stem cell treatment as it cost 40K every time he went. Changing gears as I should have mentioned this earlier, Mitch while working as a Tugboat Captain in Seattle had asked his girlfriend at the time he was diagnosed if she would marry him, to which she agreed. One night she did not come home and Mitch had assumed she worked late, the next day as I'm told some police officers showed up at his door to inform him she had fallen overboard, hit her head and drowned...Remember that when we all bitch and moan when something doesn't go as planned in our lives?

After speaking to her I asked if I could call Mitch to which she thought would be a great idea. I did call Mitch that day and we spoke for a long time on the phone as I had many questions because I know many players with Parkinson's disease, ALS is quite different but could it be from trauma we sustained while playing?

Mitch said he was going to Mexico this last time because quite frankly he had run out of funds and this was his last time on his southerly trips. During this time I had been in touch with Steve Ludzik a former player doing all he could to assist former NHL players, we became friends because my best friend who was our mutual friend Tommy Lysiak was in trouble with leukemia and sadly Tommy left us on May 25th of last year, one of the worst day's of my life. Ludzy had gone to a dinner that I could not attend and he told me he met a woman named Kandace De Angelo Stolz.

Around early 2015 I had been notified by the "Grid Iron Greats" Mark Lewis who contacted me as he had seen what I was trying to accomplish on FB to help and assist former NHL hockey players. We spoke for a long time and he told me about the same woman Ludz had met named Kandace De Angelo Stolz who ran a program for former NFL players,she provided stem cell procedures to players who had lingering injuries, or were facing invasive surgery and wanted to provide them with a different option, to date 170 former NFL players have gone through her program with tremendous success.

Mark said I needed to meet her and if I needed any help on any aches and pains I should try stem cell. So I flew to Denver and did meet Kandace the greatest person I have ever met who wanted to help people thru stem cell, I have never met anyone with a heart this big. We talked for a while about helping NHL players much the same as she was doing with the NFL, she agreed. While there I had a procedure on my knee and back and after 42 days my knee pain disappeared completely I have never had an issue again, my back is better but it is such bad shape it could take multiple injections.

So I called the woman who had reached out about Mitch and her name was Sally Roof who I am glad to say is on our board of directors for Dignity after Hockey as she to gives all she has to help people. We decided on a silent on line auction and thanks to Keith Bellamy of Epoch Ave we did the auction raised money and sent it to Mitch.

When Mitch returned from Mexico I asked him if he knew if he was getting stem cell or placebo, the sad part is no one knows, so I asked if he would like to go to Denver to Premier to see what Kandace and her great team could do for him. He agreed and called me the the day after his procedure and said he felt better 1 time in Denver than he had in 4 times in Mexico. Since then Mitch who is wheelchair bound had difficulty in just clearing his throat and coughing, so I spoke to Kandace and arranged for him to return for another stem cell IV procedure. After the procedure Mitch was kind enough to call and tell me that no only could he clear his throat and cough but he could move his toes as well. I believe if you got to the Premier site which is www.premsci.com he did a testimonial on what has happened since he began going to Denver to Premier.

Premier has proven to be the leader in it's field not only helping people everyday with issues such as strokes, bad joints requiring surgery, arthritis, Parkinson's, all kinds of problems. Thanks to the courage of ex athletes like Mitch Wilson and 6 other former NHL players, along with Don Horn who oversees the NFL players at Premier. But more importantly people like Kandace De Angelo Stolz, who is consistently giving back and providing players the opportunity to have stem cell procedures. It's people like Kandace and her team that make such a significant difference in the lives of so many....

When I ask for donations from all of you who love the game and want to know you have helped, 100% of that money goes to help players get to Denver who can't afford airfare or to get a hotel for 3 nights while there. I can't do it alone, I have come out of pocket to help players but I'm not a wealthy person at all. I'm just trying to assist former players who need assistance with health care, and stem cell to give them the opportunity to have a normal life. I know you all enjoyed watching some of these great players, they put a little joy in your life, and it's time to give back. Your contributions are what make it all happen.

Thank You,
Walk
Kurt Walker shared a link to the group: Dignity After Hockey.
12.03.2017 at 01:31 pmLike
Don Philip Silverman Don Philip Silverman shared Bobby Orr / Eddie Shore Hockey Tribute Song's photo to the group: Dignity After Hockey.20.03.2017 at 12:57 amLike
Sebastien Chabauty Ron Low Painting! Ron Low played 3 seasons with Washington! Another great goaltender from the past! Enjoy my friends!20.03.2017 at 03:21 amLike
Jerry Zucker From LA Times...sometimes all it takes is one injury.

"Rick Martin's case shows us that even hockey players who don't engage in fighting are at risk for CTE, likely because of the repetitive brain trauma players receive throughout their career," said Chris Nowinski, co-director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

It was noted by researchers in the report that Martin's only known concussion occurred in 1977 during a game when his head hit the ice. Martin, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered "immediate convulsions."
Jerry Zucker shared a link to the group: Dignity After Hockey.
17.03.2017 at 04:41 pmLike
WC Shubert Former players who are interested on pursuing wear and tear sports injuries compensation - Be aware of "NOT TOO GOOD" attorneys out there. Attorneys are just like people - There are good ones and there are "NOT TOO GOOD" ones. They are just like you and me - Circumstances and situations can affect how they want to or going to handle your case. Believe it or not some time they can be financially stranded as well and in a situation like that they could easily sell you out and settle for less than what you deserved. Going to be almost 7 years in business - We have seen how everything unfolded from very good attorney - to "OK" attorney to "NOT TOO GOOD" attorneys. Recently we have seen many attorneys have advertised on the retired players FACEBOOK group using retired players as their advocate. THINK SMART - IF they are good attorneys do they need to go that route? The best ones are simply depending on THE WORD OF MOUTH. To be honest with you they would not be the ones who we would suggest you to go with.

From the sidelines watching last 7 years - We have some pretty good ideas on how good the law firms and the attorneys are. We are not related to them in anyway - We WORK FOR YOU and we don't have any relationship with any of these attorneys. We also understand you players as well after almost 7 years working for the players - We know you are not comfortable with attorneys and it's understandable because WE ARE NOT EITHER. Let us help you.
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14.03.2017 at 07:45 pmLike