Phoenix: Crête-Belzile was playing despite his fight against cancer
Olivier Crête-Belzile played several games in the QMJHL while he was suffering from cancer.
Share May 25, 2020 9:05 p.m. Updated at 10:52 p.m. Share Phœnix: Crête-Belzile was playing despite his battle with cancer
Jérôme Gaudreau La Tribune SHERBROOKE – Since January, the Phoenix was not playing just to win the cup. He also played for Olivier Crête-Belzile. The Phoenix defender learned in high season that he had cancer, which shocked everyone in the organization. Despite the illness, the 19-year-old was keen to finish his season.
Olivier Crête-Belzile will begin treatment this week to overcome nodular Hodgkin lymphoma. The management of the Phoenix and its player preferred to wait until the season is over before announcing everything in order to “avoid affixing a label to Olivier and honor his desire to end the season without his situation being known to all” , can we read in the official statement sent by the organization on Monday.
Nodular Hodgkin's lymphoma is a rare subtype of Hodgkin's lymphoma, the same disease experienced by professional hockey player Mario Lemieux and more recently skateboarder Maxence Parrot.
Note that the former captain of the Montreal Canadiens, Saku Koivu, was instead diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, in 2001.
“Learning that Olivier had cancer created a shock wave at all levels of the organization,” said CEO Jocelyn Thibault. Olivier has shown himself to be strong and resilient through this news. He wanted with all his heart to end the season with his team, something he was able to do with the agreement of his attending physician. “
Olivier Crête-Belzile, like the club management, would like to thank the medical team around him, including Dr. Hélène Mercier for her involvement and Nicholas Borrelli, team therapist.
“Anyone who knows Olivier knows that he is a reserved and extremely determined young man. It's an honor for us to be able to count on a player like him. This story will have marked the team and brought everyone together. “
Le Phœnix and Olivier Crête-Belzile prefer not to comment further on the matter.
The defender, however, said he wanted to participate in the next camp as a 20-year-old player and intends to return to Sherbrooke in great shape to play his last season in the QMJHL.
Olivier Crête-Belzile has averaged 14 points per season during his three years with the Phœnix in addition to taking part in 21 playoff games since his arrival in Sherbrooke.