Goalie stares down MS

DANIEL WILSON -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

Stepping on the ice for an NHL game is something every young hockey player hopes to do in their lifetime, even if it's just for one minute.

Boston Bruins goalie prospect Jordan Sigalet can say he's done exactly that after an emergency replacement against the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.

"[Andrew] Raycroft got hurt with like a minute to go," said Sigalet, "so they told me to get in there. Even though it was a minute, it was pretty awesome just to be out there."

Sigalet's road to the NHL, however, almost came to an abrupt end before it ever got started.

At the age of 22, while playing for Bowling Green University, Sigalet woke up one morning to find his foot numb.

"The next morning my whole body was numb," said Sigalet.

Sigalet was diagnosed with MS, which affects the central nervous systems and can cause vision, speech and co-ordination problems as well as muscle weakness. Sigalet was apprehensive his illness would halt his career.

"That was my big worry about going public with it in the first place," said Sigalet. "Would they hold that against me and even if they would sign me if they knew I had MS."

Sigalet though, continued to work on his game and train hard.

"I've been fortunate in that when I'm on the ice, it hasn't bothered me," said Sigalet. "There's a comfort zone when I'm out there and I don't really think about anything. I've been lucky that way and hopefully it keeps going that way."

Sigalet is involved in charity work for the National MS Society. This past season, Serono - the company that manufactures Sigalet's MS treatment, Rebis - donated $20 to the MS Society for every save Sigalet made. Sigalet finished with 744 saves on the year.

Sigalet also travels around North America as an MS lifelines ambassador, sharing his inspirational story with fellow MS patients and doctors.

"It's kind of nice to get out there and spread the awareness as much as I can," said Sigalet.

"When this MS thing happened, people are telling me I can't play hockey anymore," said Sigalet. "That kind of made me want to push harder and harder. Things like that just keep me going to pursue that dream. It's what I love to do and hopefully can do it for a long time."


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