The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/19/11 at 04:47 PM ET
Red Wings legend Gordie Howe’s spending his weekend in Calgary, Alberta to watch over a “pro-am” hockey tournament which hopes to raise significant funds for the “Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s Research,” but Mr. Hockey himself hasn’t spoken about his status as dealing with his wife’s passing in quite a long time, so the Calgary Herald’s George Johnson asked his son Marty to provide fans with an update as to how the 82-year-old’s doing:
“When I originally took over, I had to pull back the reins a bit,’’ says son Marty, who travels with his dad on behalf of the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s. “But he does not like alone time. So actually, mentally and physically he’s so much better when he’s busy. These events perk him up. He thrives on this. The more we do, the better he seems to feel so I just keep him as busy as possible.
“Mentally, he’s declined a bit. There’s a lot of publicity over the research being done on ex-players and concussions. I’m sure he’s had his share over time, with the no helmets and everything.’’ The cause is a near and dear one.
Johnson reports that Howe spends most of his time with Mark, Marty or Murray, and I believe his grandson Travis is now one of his business managers, and Marty states that the Scotibank-sponsored “pro-ams” are taking up more and more of Gordie’s time:
Scotiabank already has such tournaments established in Toronto and Edmonton and organizers hope to add Ottawa next year. Theo Fleury, Tiger Williams, Lanny McDonald, Martin Gelinas and Colin Patterson, among others, will be donating their time this weekend. All proceeds go to the Howe Fund. Colleen Howe died two years ago of Pick’s Disease, a dementia affliction similar to Alzheimer’s.
“The first one of these came about after my mom passed away,’’ explains Marty. “It was hard on Gordie at the time, but I thought it would be a great honour for my parents, for our family, to be involved, to have the fund in their name. This disease is a horrible thing to go through. Because it’s not only the person directly involved that’s affected.
“It’s an awful thing to witness because the person you knew, the person you love, isn’t the same person anymore,” he added. “And it happens over time, slowly takes their life away. And you’re helpless. It’s a sad thing to watch, to experience. I know my dad had my mom at home. I’d come to the house whenever I could, but he was living with it all the time. I was so impressed by the way he handled everything. But he’s a strong person anyway.’‘
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.