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Retired NHL Player Gordon “Gordie” Howe – Dedicated to Raising Awareness of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Gordon “Gordie” Howe, is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League and is generally regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. Howe is most famous for his scoring prowess, physical strength, and career longevity. He is the only player to have competed in the NHL in five (1940s through 1980s) different decades. A four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, he won six Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player and six Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer. He was the recipient of the first NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
The Montreal Gazette recently reported that according to his family, Howe has begun to suffer memory problems but the cause has not yet been identified.  Howe, who turns 84 next month, has previously experienced heartbreak at the hands of dementia.  In March 2009, his wife, Colleen, died from a rare form of dementia.  Following his wife’s death, Howe became dedicated to raising awareness and helping others whose lives have been affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other similar conditions.

Through his tireless appearances and fundraising events, Howe has helped raise the awareness of Canadians about the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s.  About half a million Canadians are believed to have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 has some form of dementia, with women accounting for about 75% of Alzheimer’s cases in the country.  It is estimated within a generation; up to 1.3 million Canadians could suffer from dementia of some kind.  In the meantime, despite Howe’s memory problems, he continues to make public appearances to promote awareness of this growing problem.

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