Fund for ailing hockey player keeps growing

A fundraising effort for a local professional hockey player and his young family as he recovers from emergency brain surgery has surpassed its original $100,000 goal by almost $20,000.

Wade MacLeod, who grew up in Coquitlam and currently lives in Port Moody, underwent his fourth operation in five years last August to remove a recurring glioblastoma tumour in his brain. That was followed a month ago by six weeks of radiation treatment and chemotherapy that’s expected to last for six months.

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To support MacLeod, 31, his wife Karly, and their young daughter Ava, through the ordeal, family friend Mike Armstrong began raising funds through the crowdsourcing website GoFundMe. The appeal elicited support from wherever MacLeod’s playing career took him, from the Merritt Centennials in the BC Hockey League, to Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., to minor league pro stops in Springfield, Mass., Evansville, Ind., Toronto, Boise, Idaho and Allen, Texas. Most recently he’d played in Germany, with teams in Rosenheim and the Frankfurt Lions.

A group of Lions fans recently donated $2,685, with a message, “Keep fighting Wade.”

Armstrong said MacLeod was a popular player with teammates and fans everywhere he played. 

He’s also a beloved coach at a local hockey school MacLeod started with former BCHLer, Tyler McNeely, who played for the Coquitlam and Burnaby Express.

MacLeod had just completed his season with the Lions last spring, when doctors discovered the tumour — which was first diagnosed after he had collapsed during a game in 2013 when he was playing in Springfield —had recurred for a third time. Two months after that surgery, the tumour grew back, necessitating the fourth surgery and subsequent treatment.

In a statement posted to the GoFundMe page, MacLeod’s family said, “We have a long road ahead but are in a place where we feel strong and positive.”

To donate to MacLeod’s cancer fund, go to https://ca.gofundme.com/wade039s-treatment-fund.

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