The North Bay community and hockey world are behind Noah Dugas.
The 13-year-old from North Bay is currently at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto after suffering bouts of blackouts which eventually resulted in a stroke in late August.
A tweet from Noah’s cousin, Megan Odd, went viral on Thursday, asking the hockey world to send well wishes toward Noah. Odd’s tweet has been retweeted over 5,000 times since September 17.
“It’s all happened really quickly and kind of exploded across Canada,” said Glen Gravelle, Noah’s uncle.
Since the tweet, Noah has received messages of encouragement from NHL players, teams and personalities. Gravelle says that it’s indicative of the hockey community to come together for one of its own.
“The hockey community is really a tight big family and they’ve really supported Noah. This morning we had a reach out from Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner,” he explained. “There’s been so many great positive messages from hockey people and people who just want to send a message and give positive support.”
Dugas’ family has since begun the Facebook page, Noah Strong, which is now followed by over 800 people since it was created on Saturday. “To say his name brings forth many qualities that encompass the outstanding person that he truly is. Kind, sincere, heart of gold, helpful, authentic, sweet, selfless, strong, athletic, humorous, and most of all loving are just some of the qualities that his family and friends use to describe Noah,” the Facebook page reads.
Gravelle attributes the rapid support of the Facebook page to the spirit of North Bay.
“Time and time again when somebody is in need, the community is there. We live in a small community and it takes a village and in this case, the village has come together again and is supporting,” he commended.
And the support from both the North Bay and hockey community has touched all of Noah’s family.
“It means everything to the family. It’s a rough time that they’re dealing with here and the more support and hope and prayers that can go their way for a great recovery is really all they want,” Gravelle said.
Dugas is awake and alert at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and was able to see some of the messages of support during Saturday’s Stanley Cup Final telecast. He will be undergoing rehabilitation treatment in the coming weeks, which means his parents, Jody and Dave, must stay in Toronto, leaving their jobs to do so.
The family is accepting financial donations to help cover the costs of the medical emergency. Donations can be emailed to [email protected]