Ryan Getzlaf is one of the fiercest competitors in the NHL today. With his big frame, he can crash and bang in the corners and still dazzle with a highlight reel goal. But for a man defenders fear while on the ice, he couldn’t have a warmer heart off it.
This is a story about Getzlaf and one of his best friends – and no, we don’t mean Corey Perry. Getzlaf’s friendship with Hawken Miller, a young man who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative muscle disease that generally does not see the boys afflicted make it past their mid-20s. From Sportsnet comes this moving video of Getzlaf and his effort to help Miller and his family work for a cure:
Getzlaf makes it evident just how much he enjoys being around Miller, and he points out the motivation he finds from the way Miller has so valiantly fought against the odds.
But the tricky part, as Getzlaf and wife Paige address in the video, is raising money in order for the treatments for Miller to get approved. At this point, they’re not ready to hit the market, and they could be Miller’s only hope.
It’s heartbreaking to hear from Paul Miller, Hawken’s father and a 1982 draft selection of the Minnesota North Stars, how his job to fix things as a father has been taken from him, and how difficult it is for he and Debra, Hawken’s mother, to wait patiently for the potential cure to come through.
Debra co-founded CureDuchenne with Paul, and serves as the organization’s president and CEO. With the help of Getzlaf, the organization has put on several events to raise money for the foundation, including four annual golf tournaments.
Miller’s admiration for Getzlaf is tremendous, but it’s Miller’s own strength that clearly serves as one of the NHL superstar’s greatest inspirations.