Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stomach cancer in August.
"For some reason, the Lord put me in this kind of fight and I'm ready to fight it," Hawerchuk told TSN's Rick Westhead in an interview last weekend. "I want to live to tell the story."
Hawerchuk is the head coach of the OHL's Barrie Colts, but the team announced in September he wouldn't be behind the bench to begin the 2019-20 season due to health issues. Details were not revealed at the time.
"The chemo has hit me pretty hard," he said. "I do it one week and it breaks the body down and then the next week I take a break and build my body up so I can do it again. I have to do that for two months. I really struggle to eat and have a feeding tube, but the last few days I've been able to eat a little bit, too. You've got to keep your nutrition up."
Hawerchuk was selected first overall in the 1981 NHL Draft by the original Winnipeg Jets franchise. He became an immediate star, winning the Calder Trophy in his rookie season with 103 points. He reached the 100-point mark in six of his first seven NHL campaigns.
The 56-year-old also played five seasons for the Buffalo Sabres and had a brief stint with the St. Louis Blues before wrapping up his career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He finished his career with 1,409 points in 1,188 regular-season games and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001 - his second year of eligibility.
Hawerchuk has been the head coach of the Colts since 2010-11, capturing four division titles in his tenure.