Just before the start of the 2017-18 season, New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle was diagnosed with Chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer.
Even after the diagnosis Boyle remained determined to get back on the ice as soon as possible, and after missing the first month of the season was able to return to game-action on Nov. 1 and ended up playing in 69 games for the Devils, scoring 10 goals and 13 assists, while also appearing in all five of the team’s playoff games.
Along with his return to the lineup, he ended up participating in the NHL All-Star weekend and was the winner of the 2017-18 Masterton trophy, which is given out annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.”
On Wednesday, Boyle had some great news to share as he announced that his cancer is now in full remission after receiving his most recent blood tests on Monday.
Here is what Boyle had to say about the results on Wednesday, via NHL.com:
“A test (BCR-ABL1) looks for the leukemia cells in your blood and when I was first diagnosed, it was at 75 percent,” Boyle said Wednesday. “At the end of last season, it was at .08 percent, and in July I was .04 percent. The results showed all zeros on Monday. It’s full molecular remission, and I feel really good. It was kind of the way the progression was happening the last few tests. When I told my wife, she was excited and got emotional.
“The game plan has been working well, and now I’m just going to continue with it. It was good news, but it doesn’t change a whole lot for me and I’ll continue taking the medicine.”
Boyle was originally told that it could take up to 18 months for the cancer to reach full remission, but it happened for him in just a little more than 12 months.
He has appeared in all six games for the Devils this season, already scoring three goals (including one in each of the past two games) and an assist.
Boyle is set to play in his 700th career game on Thursday night when the Devils take on the Nashville Predators.
He is currently in the second year of a two-year, $5.1 million contract he signed with the Devils in the summer of 2017.
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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.