September 23, 2012
Backchecking With Paul Henderson
In The Hockey News Evan Boudreau recently caught up with Paul Henderson. He applauds Henderson for his biggest contribution in life - not scoring the Summit Series winning goal, but being a great role model for others as he struggles with his battle with leukemia.
In November 2009, Paul Henderson got the shock of his life. During a routine checkup, his doctor recommended an abdominal ultrasound – a seemingly harmless precaution. “I’ve always kept myself in good shape,” Henderson said. “They did an ultrasound on my abdomen to make sure everything was OK and I was full of gross tumors.”
At 66, Henderson was diagnosed with chronic lymphoid leukemia. It’s the most common form of leukemia, primarily found during similar routine checkups. The man whose three consecutive game-winners in the 1972 Summit Series fortified Canada’s comeback over the Soviet Union had entered the third period of life. “I was really shocked,” Henderson said. “They told me I might have a year, a year and a half when I was first diagnosed and I’m up to two years now.”
Two years, 20 books and one bible later, Henderson became more than just a volunteering professional. He became an Anglican. Now 68, his back pressed against a massage chair, feet resting on an exercise ball and a deadly disease accelerating his internal clock, Henderson can say he has “no annex or fear in my body whatsoever even though I’m full of cancer.”
While many view cancer as a progressive closing of all doors, Henderson sees only opportunity in life. On the 38th anniversary of his biggest goal, Henderson kicked off the 2010 Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. “Anything cancer research is obviously near and dear to my heart,” he said. “I’m a hockey player and I have cancer. The two kind of go together. I’m not looking to be the poster boy for cancer, but anything that I can do.”
Here's the full story.