Back in 2019, Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow was diagnosed with progressive neurogenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Snow’s battle with the disease and continued work with the Flames (where he was promoted to vice president of data and analytics this summer, in addition to continuing with his AGM role) despite his physical challenges received extensive coverage nationally and internationally, including from TSN, HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and The New York Times.
But that fight has sadly come to an end. Snow’s wife Kelsie revealed Wednesday that he had suffered a cardiac arrest and subsequent brain damage Tuesday. She then shared Thursday that he’s set to be removed from life support once organ donation is arranged.
— Kelsie Snow (@kelsieswrites) September 27, 2023
Tests yesterday confirmed that Chris will not wake up. In life, Chris offered his body to a clinical trial to help others. In death he will do the same. He remains on life support while organ donation is arranged. We are so proud of him.
— Kelsie Snow (@kelsieswrites) September 28, 2023
Kelsie Snow, who met Chris while both were covering the Red Sox for The Boston Globe (Chris started his career as a baseball beat reporter, then made an unusual jump to to a NHL hockey operations role in 2006, working first with the Minnesota Wild and then landing a job with the Flames in 2011), chronicled their family’s story following that 2019 diagnosis. That included a blog that evolved into the “Sorry, I’m Sad” podcast, and articles for Sports Illustrated in 2020, and for the Globe in 2021 around Chris throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game. And, as John Branch explored in a 2022 New York Times feature, Snow was initially expected to live just a year or less. But while he faced regular and severe health struggles, Snow continued to work for the Flames, and continued to do that job well, as Real Sports‘ Jon Frankel covered this year:
And the Flames promoted Snow to that VP role this summer in recognition of the work he was doing. He definitely continued to be an important part of their front office even amidst the health challenges. And he and Kelsie both did a lot to put a face on ALS (which has struck so many in the sports world) and raise donations for research through the #SnowyStrong initiative with the Flames Foundation, which has raised more than $230,000 (CAD) to date. Tributes to them have poured in on social media: here are a few of those.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 28, 2023
Chris and Kelsie Snow remain examples for all of us.
A small gesture that would matter: make them the recipients of this year's Masterton Trophy. https://t.co/O1nnfmNYh0
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) September 28, 2023
This is a thank you to Kelsie and Chris Snow, for sharing how hard it was. I’m sorry. https://t.co/uPd514f5Xa
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) September 28, 2023
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 28, 2023
Our thoughts go out to Snow’s family and friends around this.
A GoFundMe page in support of Snow’s family is here.