Hockey community mourning the loss of Flames’ AGM, Chris Snow
By Matthew DeMille, Sports Editor
His sentence was eventual and unavoidable, but that never stopped Chris Snow.
In June 2019, Snow — a man known for his deep passion toward sports and an unwavering love for family — was given six months to a year to live following a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The same life-taking disease that Snow’s father, two uncles and cousin had previously succumbed to.
While most would have crumpled at the news, Snow instead stood tall, accepted his fate and went on living his life to the fullest — and continued to do so four years after his diagnosis.
In a tribute to her late husband, freelance writer and ALS activist Kelsie Snow, shared the moments following Chris’ ALS diagnosis.
She recalled Chris asking the doctor, “What should I do next,” with the doctor responding, “Do what brings you joy.”
Snow took the medical professional’s advice and ran with it.
Over the next four years — with the help of a gene-therapy clinical trial — Chris breezed past his original life expectancy set by the doctors and went on cherishing every single moment with his wife, son (Cohen) and daughter (Willa).
According to Kelsie, Chris did not skip out on the little things in life, like sunrises, as he knew — one day — they would be gone.
“He revelled in the ordinary and he rested in the great comfort of knowing his bucket list contained one thing – spending every moment he could with people he loved,” Kelsie continued to share in her digital tribute.
All the while, Snow kept up with his work demands as vice-president of hockey operations and assistant general manager of the Calgary Flames, plus being a spokesperson for ALS research.
With the help of Kelsie, Chris was able to publicly share scenes of his life with ALS in the hopes that he and his family could raise awareness and funds for ALS research. Over $575,000 was raised in the four years following Chris’ diagnosis.
Despite dealing with the deadly disease, it was clear that Snow never wanted to waste his remaining days sulking about the ‘cards’ he got dealt.
“Not once did you ever see him feel sorry for himself for what he was going through,” said Flames head coach, Ryan Huska, in a previous interview with local media.
Former Flames general manager and mentor to Snow, Brad Treliving, reiterated a similar message.
“In typical Chris fashion, after getting this death sentence, and I saw this time and time again, he was there comforting us, making us feel better, saying, ‘it’s going to be okay.’”
On Sept. 30, and in the arms of his loved ones, Snow passed away from ALS complications. He was 42 years old.
But, he wasn’t done giving.
Following his death, Snow continued to improve the lives of others, as his kidneys, liver and lungs were all collected and will be donated to four recipients in need.
Snow’s story would stretch past the local scene as organizations and personalities across the National Hockey League reached out to the Flames and the Snow family, sharing messages of love and support.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals — the two teams the Flames visited following Snow’s passing — also donated their 50/50 proceeds in their game with the Flames to ALS research.
Although gone, Snow’s legacy is one that will stand the test of time.
Snowy Strong, forever.