“Doc, this is the best medicine I’ve had in a long, long time. I got a chance to go to a Blackhawks game a couple of weeks ago when they took on the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s great to be in this environment.
Yes, I’m in a battle. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank everybody throughout the National Hockey League, the fans, the teams, our broadcasters, my family here at NBC, my family with the Chicago Blackhawks, and my family at home – my mom and dad, my brothers, Ricky and Randy, and of course my wife of 30 years, Diana, and my kids, Eddie, Tommy, Alexandria and Nicholas. They’ve been the support that I’ve needed. It’s a battle, Doc. I know I have tremendous support and I’m going to beat this thing.
And the interesting thing, Doc, for me through this whole process has been – and we’ve all been through challenges in our lives – but when I was a young kid growing up in Chicago, everybody told me I’d never make it to the NHL because I was a kid from Chicago and I was American-born back in the mid-70s. People told me I’d never make the U.S. Olympic hockey team when I was 16 years old back in 1984 because I was too young. I ended up making it. Some people said I’d eat my way out of the National Hockey League. What’s wrong with a hungry hockey player, Doc? But I lasted 16 years. People told me I could never be the first American-born lead analyst on national T.V. in the United States for hockey. But for the first time in my life, I’ve had everybody tell me that I’m going to beat this thing, and that’s been the greatest support that I’ve had and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I know there are a lot of people out there who are much worse off than Eddie Olczyk, and I want to try and brighten up somebody’s day. I want to try and inspire one person the rest of my life. I’m going to give up six months of chemo treatment for hopefully 50 more years on this earth. I want to be on the Today Show. I want to be on that Smuckers jar with Al Roker or Dylan Dreyer. I’m going to be around. I don’t know what my schedule is going to be, but when I’m feeling good, Doc, I want to be next to you. I want to be in the broadcast booth in Chicago where I do the local games with the great Pat Foley.
But I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I’ve had from all my friends and everybody in the National Hockey League, and the horse racing community as well, Doc. They’ve been big supporters. So, it’s great to be here. And like I said, this is the best medicine that I’ve had in a long, long time.”