Life Can Change In A Second
In my job, I cover sports for many schools. I see many different school colors. And at those times, I support those schools. But deep down I still bleed the blue and gold of the high school I graduated from almost 36 years ago -- Totino-Grace. I worked at the school a few years after graduation, helped coach softball and was the public address announcer for some sports before I left for the radio career in 1984. I was a manager for many teams during my high school career. So when something happens to someone on one of the teams, it hits me.
Matt Olson was a defenseman on the hockey team. He went on to play for the Cougars in the U.S. Premier Hockey League. That's what he was doing on Feb. 21. He went behind the net he was defending when he stumbled and went headfirst into the boards and was immediately paralyzed.
According to an article in the Star Tribune, he can't move his arms or legs. Dr. John Ruge and his team operated on Olson to realign his spinal cord, which was not severed, but it was severely pinched. Ruge has recommended Olson for advanced stem cell therapy. The treatment will cost millions of dollars.
Also stated in the Star Tribune report, the Olson family has already received support from various hockey communities. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford Ice Hogs, Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks have donated memorabilia to Olson’s junior hockey team, the Chicago Cougars, to be auctioned off to help pay for Olson’s medical bills.
A fundraising effort was started at www.gofundme.com/mattolson-3 to help with expenses. It had raised $104,015 as of Wednesday morning.
It's going to be a long hard road for Olson. Help him if you can.