Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The 2013 'charity classic' welcomes back Trevor Umlah

The organizing committee is privileged and excited to welcome back our special guest from last year's event, Trevor Umlah.  Trevor will be joining us again this year, all the way from Halifax, Novia Scotia. 
Why is this so significant, you ask?  As a follow up to my “Why are we doing this charity classic thing” post, Trevor is another example of the significance of our efforts (worldwide), and the inspirational stories of those who are winning in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  When you get to meet Trevor, you’ll quickly learn that Trevor is not your ordinary person, nor your ordinary hockey player.  
Here is his story:
I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in 1968 when the average survival age was 13 years. Now, as a parent, i couldn't imagine receiving this as a diagnosis for your child.
I was raised to never back down from a challenge and never to let anyone or anything get the best of you. I wrestled with CF my entire life, but I was always on top. Even in my late 30s with lung function so bad that I could have qualified for disability pension, you could find me on the ice twice a week. Soon, however CF would gain the upper hand.
In the summer of 2007, with 18% lung function, I moved my family to Toronto to await a lung transplant. I was on supplemental oxygen and i couldnt walk any more than 50 feet without stopping. Luckily, my wait was only 3 weeks. Recovery was tough, but after 3 months of rehabilitation, I returned home and began my new life -- with lung function of 118%.
At 6 months post transplant, I asked my doctor if I could return to hockey. Fully expecting him to say "you're crazy"; instead he insisted I return. "You didn't this gift so that you could look out the window at life. Get out there and live it."
Four days later, I was in the crease getting shelled in a 7-1 loss. It wasn't pretty, but this was my final hurdle in recovery. From the moment I stepped on the ice that cold February night, i have been back 'on top'.
I am thrilled to be back at the Make CF History Classic this year. It is a real world class tournament you guys put on in Columbus.  I met so many wonderful people on and off the ice at last year's Classic. I hope to meet more this year.
Here is more on Trevor's story:

Trevor also devotes a lot of his time as an advocate for organ donation in Canada - for more information, go to http://www.lifepassiton.ca/, or follow Trevor on Twitter @LifePassItOn.