At the beginning of the 2001-2002 season Saku Koivu boarded a plane and headed towards Montreal for the start of training camp. While on the flight Koivu began to have stomach pains. Shrugging the pain off he reported to practice where the symptoms became worse. Koivu talked to the team doctor and on September 5th was hospitalized. A biopsy surgery revealed that Koivu had a tumor and malignant cells in his abdomen. The doctors originally diagnosed him with stomach cancer but changed the diagnoses to non hodgkins lymphoma. Before the start of chemotherapy Koivu asked the media to respect his privacy and leave him alone. On April 9th 2002, Koivu returned to the ice where he was greeted with an 8 minute standing ovation from the crowd. The Canadians won that game and then went on to beat the #1 ranked Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.
If it wasn’t for costly cancer treatments Saku Koivu wouldn’t be alive today. Please consider helping the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fight against testicular cancer and donating here. Every little bit helps make a difference.