At the end of November Player Ambassador Tyson Galloway took the time to meet up with Bode to start a friendship that will undoubtedly have an impact on them both.
Bode was 9 years old when he was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in May 2021, an extremely rare bone marrow failure disease where the body destroys its own stem cells. Drug therapy failed, so Bode was put on the list to receive a bone marrow transplant. (No one in his family was a match for him.) Bode's health was very fragile for over a year. He was severely immuno-compromised (in the midst of a pandemic) and had to be home-schooled. Because Bode's body could not produce platelets and destroyed its own red blood cells, he was not allowed to play hockey or any other sports he loves, and had to be isolated from his friends. He ran a high risk of bleeds and infections. While he waited to find a stem cell donor, Bode needed over 25 blood transfusions and 65 platelet transfusions. Each one was literally life-saving for him.
In April 2022, after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, Bode received a stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor. What a gift!
It's a long road back to good health (Bode is still undergoing treatments) - but this has given him a shot at living a normal life again. Today he is back at school…. and back playing hockey with his friends. Tyson currently plays for the Calgary Hitmen and is a drafted prospect of the St. Louis Blues. Tyson recently donated blood for the first time and will join Canadian Blood Services stem cell registry in January when Bode visits the team.
Comments from Bode’s mom Susanne Fox: There are no words that appropriately sum up our gratitude to all the individuals who have donated blood and blood products to save Bode's life. Each time Bode received a blood/blood product transfusion - we could feel the support of our community, the everyday heroes who have taken time out of their busy lives to donate blood… and save his life, over and over again. We are humbled and forever grateful.
Hockey Gives Blood was founded in 2018 by former hockey players, all of whom were seeking to do more for the Hockey community. When the Humboldt Broncos tragedy struck they were filled with a desire to give back. Hockey Gives Blood is a work of passion for each of them.