The overwhelming majority of hockey players aren’t just great athletes; they understand how to use their celebrity to benefit others. Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding is one of those players who knows how to apply the challenges of his vocation to offer help where it’s needed.When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he found it difficult to acquire information about the disease. Diagnosed in October of 2012, Josh Harding missed three months during this past season due to difficulties with his medication.
To promote greater awareness of MS and to educate others about the disease, the recent Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner founded the charity, Harding’s Hope. Explaining its purpose, Josh said,
There is a poor perception of people diagnosed with MS. People immediately think wheelchair and death. I want to be a role model for others diagnosed with MS by showing that this will not come between me and my goals.
The impact of Harding’s Hope will be felt in the United States, Canada and beyond. In presenting Josh with the Masterton award, the statement from the NHL read,
In the United States, Harding’s Hope will work with existing agencies to help support people faced with the expensive treatment costs. In Canada, the charity will support organizations that provide community services to people living with MS.
It would have been easy for the likeable 29yo goaltender to just get his medications straight, concentrate on overcoming his personal obstacles, and re-focus on his career. No, Josh Harding decided that wasn’t good enough. He wanted to do something more, something that would give hope and help to others facing similar medical challenges.
Thanks for being an inspiration for all of us, Josh. Not only are you a role model for aspiring NHL professionals, your courage in the face of adversity is an example that we can all follow.