A name that may not be to familiar right now is Jake Dowell. Dowell is a young forward who was drafted in the NHL (national hockey league) by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2004.
On November 22nd, 2007, Dowell played his first NHL game for the Blackhawks, in that game he scored his first NHL goal. Unfortunately for him, his family was unable to attend the game but they were cheering for him back home in front of the TV.
For most of his life, Dowell has watched his Brother and his Father suffer from Huntington Disease. Huntington Disease is a rare neurological disorder in which the body shuts down. There is no timetable on how long the shutting down takes, but it is incurable.
In February 2014, Dowell's father passed away. He suffered a thirteen year battle with the disease and the final months before his passing was said to be the worst. Dowell's father was unable to eat on his own and suffered from dementia before passing away.
Dowell's brother also suffers from Huntington disease. His brother is in his early 30s has lost a lot of weight, can still walk and talk but has lost some motor skills. As well he suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Dowell is still playing hockey. He is currently in the AHL (American Hockey League) playing for the Montreal Canadiens affiliate team the Hamilton Bulldogs.
There is a possibility that the young player may have the gene that will lead him to have Huntington Disease, but he is scared to go test it. However, it is something he thinks about everyday especially when he makes a mistake on the ice he begins to wonder why he made that simple mistake.
The soon to be father will get it tested and hopes to get a relief off his shoulders and hopes to give his wife Carly and his mom good news. But some good news now is his future daughter has tested negative for the disease, so he still sees no rush.
When there is an update, we will have it. To read more on his stories you can follow these links below.
Link 1: Article I wrote over the summer
Link 2: Video of Dowell's journey
Link 3: Latest update/interview