Sunday, June 24, 2012

Colonoscopies for 100,000 Hockey Players

 CARHA Hockey delivered this message to 100,000 hockey players in Canada.
on the CARHA News Highlights, and the CARHA facebook page
Penalties for Not Listening

Hockey player Paul Riome didn’t listen to his body or his doctor.  
Minor Penalty was undetected cancer.  
Major Penalty was a permanent colostomy.  
Riome tells of his experiences, attitude adjustments, and comeback to hockey. 

The story is about overcoming colorectal cancer 
and showing other hockey “tough-guys” the importance of prevention.


Even with daily rectal bleeding for over 2 years,  I refused all tests and examinations.

“You got Cancer ...  Life-expectancy is uncertain” Reminiscent of nasty and unexpected hockey hits, I asked myself  “what the hell was that for?”  Of course there was no answer. But I  vowed I would live & play hockey again. 

The rehab routine was similar to hockey injuries, but the outcome would be drastically different, as the surgery damages could never be restored.  With trepidation, I started Public Skating, surrounded by grandparents teaching pre-school kids to skate.

Exactly four months after surgery, I was back playing hockey.  I was amazed at how many players made a point of acknowledgement, usually with the back-handed male style
‘… Nice you’re back, looking dangerous as ever’
‘… I always hated going into the corner with you, but now I’m really afraid of the sh*t flying’
‘… I thought with your butt sewn shut, that your stride would be shorter’  

After an aggressive altercation around the net, a large and hostile defenseman pummeled me with a verbal tirade of hockey-trash-talk.  I said ‘you can’t really call me that, because I don’t even have one’.  Instantly he went silent, smiled, put his arm around my shoulder, and said in amazement “you’re the one”

Hockey team-mates were curious, so I volunteered to answer any questions they had, and show them anything they wanted to see.  They all related to the red-neck attitude that prevents us from having rectal examinations and colonoscopies, even while knowing that these procedures are effective lifesavers. 

With earlier tests and earlier detection,

I may have avoided the surgery and permanent colostomy.

Several wives (mostly with tears) told me it was my experience that convinced their husband to get a colonoscopy.

As hockey players  might say  … I paid the price, so now I can send the message

Get a Colonoscopy.  It could save your ass.  Maybe your life.

 We, the fortunate warriors and survivors, can save lives by educating others … one person at a time.  

Maybe YOU can help someone – please SHARE THIS with your friends.

CARHA Hockey is a national, not for profit, charitable sport organization who is dedicated to providing resources and benefits to the adult recreational and oldtimers hockey industry in Canada.  CARHA Hockey

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Paul. It is really inspirational!