Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as A.L.S. or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terrible albeit somewhat rare disease. The brain and spine essentially cut off the muscles in the body leading to deteriorated muscle movement, paralysis, and eventually death. It’s slow, it’s heartbreaking, it’s painful, and worst of all it’s incurable.
One such individual who has unfortunately seen the effects of A.L.S. up close and personal has been Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund. Backlund’s girlfriend Frida Engström unfortunately lost her mother to the disease four years ago this coming New Years Day. As a result, Backlund has done a number of charitable things for the A.L.S. research, going so far as to donate 200 dollars for every point he registers. He’s also hosted games for those suffering A.L.S. through the A.L.S. Society of Alberta.
Backlund’s most recent charitable act came just a few days ago as he put up an auction for fans from Sweden to see a live Flames game. For those that cannot read Swedish, the auction included:
- Flights for two from Sweden to Calgary
- Car transfer between YYC to the Hyatt Regency
- Two lower bowl tickets to two separate Flames home games
- Two signed game jerseys delivered by Backlund himself
The proceeds went to the Ulla-Carin Lindquist Foundation for ALS Research. The winning bid closed out on the eighth and Backlund and the Flames raised 49,300 Krona. That’s the equivalent of 7,633.51 Canadian dollars, nothing to sneeze at.
Presumably this won’t be the last of Backlund’s charitable acts for A.L.S. All of this cements Backlund as not just a terrific two-way centre in the N.H.L., but also one of the league’s more phenomenal human beings off the ice as well. It would be very hard not to like the guy.
If you wish to donate to A.L.S. research, you can do so at the the A.L.S. Society of Alberta’s website here.