How Over 5000 Hockey Fans Were Inspired (Lessons from a Magical Evening in Kamloops with Jordan DePape)

Two things that I strongly believe:

1) We all need Heroes

2) We ALL can be Heroes to others

I’m not talking about the “put someone on a pedestal” kind of hero, I’m talking about the kind of everyday hero that inspires others by just being themselves.

I’m talking about the kind of hero that Jordan DePape is.

Jordan DePape shown here with author and speaker Shawn Shepheard: Inspiring Lives and Living Well with Diabetes

Like many of us, Jordan’s life changed forever when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. Like many Canadian kids, Jordan LOVED, and I mean LOVED hockey, and he was pretty darn good at it as well.

Jordan thought his future in hockey was done.

Then, with the help of his brother who reached out to hockey legend and fellow type 1 diabetic Bobby Clarke, Jordan received a letter in the mail that inspired him into action.


The letter said:

“There is only one thing that can stop you….and that is you.  If you have the determination to succeed, you can.  If you want to feel sorry for yourself, you won’t accomplish your goals.  But then neither will someone without diabetes.  I can honestly say that diabetes has not prevented me from doing even one thing I wanted to do.  If you take care of yourself, if you listen to your doctors and parents, you’ll be able to do the same thing.  Diabetes or not, you can be what you want to be.  Good luck.”

Needless to say Jordan got back into the game and resumed playing hockey at the highest level.

We All Want to See Hope and Inspiration In Action

For the past few seasons Jordan has been a leader on and off the ice for the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers.  Jordan always has time to talk, listen and help others live well with diabetes.

He is a great ambassador for JDRF, was part of the George Canyon and Friends Diabetes Heroes Tour.

On Friday night, Jordan returned to Kamloops (he is recovering from a injury and was picked up by the Red Deer Rebels),  and hosted a meet and greet to support JDRF before the game, and then was honoured at centre ice before the Blazers game that night.

When Jordan was introduced and walked onto the ice, the crowd of over 5,000 rose to their feet and gave Jordan a rousing, and long, standing ovation.

It is a moment I will never forget.

The standing ovation came from LOVE.

Love from the children living with diabetes that Jordan has inspired.

Love from the adults that are so grateful for the person Jordan is.

Love from his team mates.

Love from the JDRF and Animas families.

The ovation was followed by a video tribute from George Canyon, and a special moment when two Blazer veteran players presented Jordan with his jersey.

It was indeed a very special night, not just for Jordan but for everyone that he has touched during his time supporting the diabetes community in Kamloops.

A very special thanks to Animas Canada, The Kamloops Blazers and JDRF for making this  special evening possible.

Grateful to call you a friend Jordan.

2 thoughts on “How Over 5000 Hockey Fans Were Inspired (Lessons from a Magical Evening in Kamloops with Jordan DePape)

  1. I too suffer from diabetes but am one of the lucky ones as I have been honored to be a friend of Jordan’s. Although I am much older then Jordan. I was also inspired by his drive, commitment, and determination. He is a special young man whom I have truly been blessed to have known. I suffer from diabetes , but I am one of the lucky ones.

  2. What a beautiful article. My son had the honor to play with such an amazing young man! This article brought a tear to my eye and makes me so proud of the accomplishments these young men are able to achieve. A lot of these athletes take time out of there busy schedules to give back to the community. A proud parent!

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