At Advanced Medical Group (AMG) and The Manor Village at London, we’re sad to hear of the passing of ice hockey legend Gordon “Gordie” Howe. From 1946 to 1980 he played no less than 26 season of NHL ice hockey, earning him the nickname “Mr Hockey”. Gordie was also the first person to receive the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
However, his prowess on the rink is not the reason we know and respect Gordie so much. After his wife Colleen died in 2009, Gordie supported research into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, founding the Gordie and Colleen Howe fund for Alzheimer’s in association with the University of Toronto, as well as the Gordie Howe Traumatic Brain Injury Initiative, and the Howe Foundation.
It is yet another of Gordie’s charity that has close links with AMG. We have allocated 3,500 square feet of free space within the main floor of The Manor Village Fish Creek in Calgary, to host the Gordie Howe Centre for Alzheimer’s Research and Education Society (Gordie Howe C.A.R.E.S.).
This amazing center will host a large educational theater to educate the community, emergency services and care providers in effective supportive care for seniors; a research area supported through the Hotchkiss Brain Institute; as well as an adult day support program. The activities at the C.A.R.E.S. Centre are generously supported through the fundraising of the annual Gordie Howe C.A.R.E.S. Pro-Am Hockey Tournament and Luncheon.
Gordie’s son Marty wrote a special message for AMG’s own website:
“When a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a memory loss illness, the whole family suffers. Both our Mother and Father have been stricken with different types of dementia.
It has been a challenge for our family to see the effect that dementia has had on our parents. Given the loss of memory changes, there have been times when our family has missed out on special occasions and the memories.
The impact this disease has had on our family is the prime motivation to assist others by lending our father’s name, Gordie Howe, to help fund the research & education for both the cause and the potential cures for this debilitating disease of memory loss.”
Gordie himself lived with dementia after his wife’s death, and died at his son’s home last Friday aged 88. It is testament to his enduring popularity that his lying in state was held at the Joe Lewis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, the team he played for during his Hall of Fame years. His funeral will be held at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on Wednesday.
Our Mission at AMG and The Manor Village Life Center will be to continue to drive this Center forward to honour Gordie as he was a great player who made such a difference both on and off the ice.