Team loses member of the family

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

A woman who loved football and watching her son play for the Argos has lost a battle she so bravely fought.

Wendy Walsh, whose son Chuck is a defensive lineman with the team, died on Monday at Toronto General Hospital, only three weeks after undergoing a double lung transplant.

Wendy had health issues related to a chronic connected tissue disorder that affected all aspects of her body, with a direct impact on her lungs.

Despite obvious physical difficulties, she routinely supported her son in his football career and tried as often as possible to attend Argos practices and games after Toronto signed him as a free agent in 2003 out of the University of Waterloo.

She often brought the team homemade cookies and baked goods.

"She was our team mom," Argos head coach Pinball Clemons said yesterday.

"I really don't feel I'm qualified to speak on what she meant or the effect she had on our present team.

"We all were pulling for her."

Argos season-ticket holder Bill Ironside recalled Wendy and the enthusiasm she brought to practices.

"She seemed to be very energetic and enthusiastic about the Argos since her son was playing," Ironside said. "She really enjoyed being there (at the practices).

"She always seemed to be up, never down. It didn't matter what was going on (with her physically). She never showed a downside at all."

"She was just a kind soul, and when we were feeling down (about her condition), she lifted us up," her close friend Celia Vanderjagt said.

Wendy provided the team with some inspiration during training camp this year when she attended one of the practices in a wheelchair and wearing a breathing apparatus.

"For a little while there you just forgot you were at training camp," Clemons said.


Videos

Photos