Sunday, 26 April 2015

Super send-off for Smuk

A Dodge Ram takes Cody Smuk and family to the airport in Saskatoon.
    It seemed like Cody Smuk's smile could be seen for miles, when he approached the Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport early Sunday morning.
    The former forward with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, his fiancée Stephanie Vause, his mother Darla and father Marty were on their way to begin their air journey to Germany. He is heading overseas to seek alternative treatment for cancer in his chest, which revolves around a tumour. Smuk has been battling cancer since May of last year.
    As the black Dodge Ram truck driven by Smuk's father Marty approached the airport, they encountered a large gathering of well wishers. A huge group of family and friends lined the snowy road leading to the entrance to the airport and cheered as the black Dodge drove past. Vause and Darla gave waves through the windows.
    The gathering included members of various Huskies teams including a large contingent of past and present players from the men's hockey team, who were Cody Smuk's former teammates.
    A number of people arrived at about 8:30 a.m., which was about 45 minutes before the 25-year-old arrived at the airport. The send-off occurred in spite of the fact the weather hadn't been the greatest.
Some of Cody Smuk's supporters came out with signs of support on Sunday.
    About 20 centimetres of snow fell on Saskatoon on Saturday, and a number of power outages in the city early Sunday morning likely made a few people late for the festivities, as alarm clocks lost power. The streets were mired in slush and huge puddles.
    Still, the obstacles didn't deter anyone. During his four seasons with the Huskies, Smuk built a reputation as a hard-working and team-first player. He was very good-natured, easy going and quickly became popular with large masses of the student body.
    Those in the community of Saskatoon had taken the local product into their hearts. During his hockey career, Smuk played four WHL seasons split between the Chilliwack Bruins, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Moose Jaw Warriors, and he developed lots of support in those centres.
    It didn't surprise anyone that a big group of people came out to wish him well.
    The gathering felt warm and full of hope. Just to be part of the group was uplifting in itself.
    A couple of crews came out from local television stations. Recent women's basketball grad Kabree Howard and men's hockey forward Matthew Spafford handled most of the interviews and said a lot of upbeat things.
Part of the gathering that came out to pass on good wishes to Cody Smuk.
    In Germany, Smuk will undergo a vaccine treatment. Doctors there plan to boost Smuk's immune system by taking a sample of the tumour in his chest and create a vaccine for it. Other treatments will be decided upon once Smuk arrives.
    When he returns, a steak night fundraiser is being planned for Thursday, June 4, at the Kinsmen/Henk Ruys Soccer Centre. The warm feeling that was present on Sunday morning will likely return for the June 4 fundraiser.
    All those that support Smuk hope that fate would allow that night to turn into a victory party.

    If you have any comments about this blog, feel free to email them to Smuk's family is still raising funds to pay for the trip to Germany. Those looking to help Smuk with his cancer battle can do so by clicking here.